In September 2008, the financial world erupted when the largest global economic crisis in recent history rippled across the country. Experts proclaimed that it would take five years for unemployment rates to recoup, and six years for the housing market. Nearly five years in, and the state of this nation’s economy is still teetering on unsteady ground.
According to TradingEconomics.com, the U.S. unemployment rate reported in at 7.7% the beginning of August. This number does not include those who have stopped looking for work or the thousands upon thousands of independent contractors who do not qualify to receive unemployment and are still unemployed in the building, mortgage, and real estate trades, to name a few.
While some housing markets across the country show signs of recovering from the deepest throes of the foreclosure crisis, many are just stumbling into it, and, sadly, there may be many more to come. As reported on CNN Money, Maryland skyrocketed to new filings by 275%, Oregon 137%, and New Jersey 89%.
In spite of this bleak news, there is one group of courageous individuals who have decided to take matters into their own hands and make a change in their lives. Women across America simply have had enough over the past decade and have begun to turn their ideas, or those of others, into successfully run home-based businesses. Long gone is the desire to break through the so-called “glass ceilings.” Now, it’s all about taking charge of creating their own avenues of prosperity.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the number of reported home-based businesses in the U.S. exceeds 18.3 million, with 72% operated by women. 68% of them continue to maintain their business successfully from home, even after 3 ½ years from their initial startup. The “I Can Do It Myself” mentality is what’s fueling women to break away from mainstream corporate America, and they have certainly made their mark in the world.
For instance, for over three years, Aileen Galera, has been an independent distributor in a leadership role with LiveSmart 360 -- a health & wellness company based out of Sarasota, Florida, with an uncompromising approach to people, nutrition products, and direct sales opportunities.
When asked during a recent interview why she ventured out on her own, she stated, “I had a young child and was not happy being away from home so much. There was little potential for advancement where I worked. And I was growing weary of being micro-managed, stagnated, and working for longer hours than what I was getting paid for.
She continued, “Street knowledge can even be more beneficial [than a college degree], because entrepreneurs are driven by practical needs, not just theories and principles you learn in the classroom. I had been exposed to an MLM [Multi-level Marketing company] prior to leaving my job. After a while, it was why I resigned, because my mind started to expand more into an entrepreneurial spirit. I couldn’t see myself going to work anymore at a job that was breaking my spirit and keeping me from succeeding. My opportunity to succeed was huge,” Aileen replied, “and failing was not an option. I suffered financial losses along with the rest of the country, including foreclosure of my home and all of my investments.”
She tells of doing her due diligence. “Based on the knowledge of expert economists, I could not disprove how explosive the health and wellness industry was becoming. Not only is it a $500 Billion Dollar market that has doubled in the last seven years, but ten million new millionaires were projected within the next decade, and I just knew that I wanted to be one of them and focus my experience and energy on that prize.”
Since 2009, Jennifer Lewis, has been a top independent consultant successfully with LaBella Baskets, an online gift company based out of Lakeway, Texas. According to Jennifer, “When I came across LaBella Baskets, I knew I had found a company where the two female co-founders really got it right. They were all about helping women succeed, and their product line was gorgeous. I wanted to use my skill sets in advertising, marketing, and sales while still being able to take care of my kids at home full time.”
Jennifer continued to state, “I didn’t want to be part of a direct sales industry where home parties were a staple to achieving success. It was important to be part of a business that would give me access to a nationwide market. I loved the idea that the company I was aligned with was all about gifting. Plus, they give back to the community with their Basket of Smiles Program for single moms. Even though I run my business from home, and it’s part of a national direct sales company, I’m still providing the same wonderful products you would expect from any gift basket supplier. On top of that, I get to market a product line that attracts a huge consumer base encompassing all ages, lifestyles, and ethnicities.”
When asked why they chose the industry they did, it was pretty obvious these women took their choices very seriously. They knew what they wanted and took the time to research not just the industries but also the companies thoroughly before jumping in with both eyes wide open. Despite the unwarranted stigma attached to home-based direct sales businesses, they understood the power of leverage and residual income in direct sales. They also understood that, in the business world, there are two ways to succeed. You can either work for someone who runs you, or you can build a large organization of direct sales and help others become successful.
Breaking away from the norm and following a different path is like anything else in life. You can either fail or succeed. These two women have proven that the power still lies in your hands, because even a risk can turn into a wonderful opportunity.
If you take anything away from their stories, let it be that whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. Aileen and Jennifer listened to their inside voices and knew from the very beginning, “Without imagination and dreams, one can lose the excitement of wonderful possibilities.” Hooray for them!