Today’s a pretty big day for me. It was one year ago today that I decided to take the leap and join It Works. I was very pregnant, totally clueless, and incredibly excited to start something new. I didn’t know what was in store for me, but I just had a feeling, deep down, like this was going to be something big.
Fast-forward one quick year later and I am healthier, wealthier, happier and more fulfilled than I’ve ever been before. What started as a way to make a few hundred extra bucks a month to help pay for our nanny quickly turned into something that changed my life forever.
Today was my last Monday at my job. This is my last week working for someone else – maybe forever. This feeling of being on the cusp of owning my own time and having total freedom over my life is indescribable. I thought I’d probably be 60 years old before I owned my own time! To have that at 33 is nothing short of amazing.
I didn’t think I had any intention of leaving my career. I didn’t think I had even let that thought enter my brain. And yet, I looked back on this post from almost a year ago, and I said this:
My BIG dream, though? If I really let myself ‘go there’ in my head? (I mean, I’m so not there in my head yet, and it seems ridiculous to even voice it out loud – or on my blog – but what the heck.) My big dream would be to make the kind of income that many of these people are making, the kind that far surpasses their day-job income and allows them to do this full-time. I would do It Works, join a yoga studio and finally be able to commit to becoming a super awesome yogi, and best of all, spend more time with my kids as they grow up. I’d donate much more to charity, and I’d be able to do things like take my family on vacation and save a nice chunk for each child’s college education.
It looks like it was my big dream from the beginning to make this happen – to own my time and to secure my family’s financial future. And now here I am! It’s just absolutely mind-blowing to me. We’ve paid off our credit card debt, we’re now able to save in a month what before we couldn’t even save in a year; Dave’s about to get a new car (the only thing he’s really ever wanted!) and we’re saving to buy our forever home hopefully by next summer. We can pay our bills more easily and treat ourselves once in awhile to things we never would have before.
I honestly think that one of the biggest keys to my success so far (besides consistent work, of course!) is the fact that I BELIEVED from the beginning that I’d succeed. I didn’t know how, and I didn’t know how long it would take, but I just believed I would do it.
There are so many things I couldn’t have anticipated, though, and I know that my teammates and sidelines all feel this way, too. Financial freedom aside, the entire experience has enhanced my life in countless ways. A jolt of electricity and excitement has been infused into my life and into my household. I feel healthier than ever before. I’ve developed as a person in virtually every aspect of my life – as a wife and mom, as an employee, as a friend, as a leader to my team. I’ve met so many wonderful people who I never would have met otherwise. I’ve gotten to do crazy fun things like go to Florida in January for conference and speak at a big event here in Milwaukee in March and go to St. Louis just last month for a leadership retreat. I feel like I’m a part of something BIG. Like there’s somewhere I belong and it’s right here – with these people, with this company.
And truly, I feel like I’m making a difference with what I’m doing. I’m leading a team that’s grown to almost 550 people in nearly 30 states and Canada, and it’s growing every day. It’s this incredible ripple effect that just keeps going – just because I decided to say yes a year ago! All of those people are getting healthier, setting and reaching goals, developing and improving themselves, getting out of debt, and helping others do the same. I truly thank God every single day for this opportunity. For giving me the courage to say yes and the motivation to work hard and to make these big things happen.
I also think Ellie being on the way had something to do with the pull I was feeling to try this. I couldn’t have understood til she was here what it would be like to be the full-time working mom of three kids. To have my girl, my last baby, and to know how much faster it all goes when there’s another; and how a few hours in the evening just would not be enough with all of them. It was never enough, even before her, but since I didn’t think I had any other option, I made the most of it. I stayed positive, I cherished the time spent with my boys when I wasn’t at work. But now? To be at the point where Henry is starting kindergarten, for us to be officially entering the “school years,” and for me to be able to greet him off the bus each day, attend day events and field trips, and take him to his activities? It’s priceless.
I enrolled Ben in a 3k preschool program one morning a week for this year, and I’m SO excited for him to get out and make some friends and be away from home all on his own, without his big bro by his side. I feel so fortunate that it’s even an option now, since I’ll be able to take him and pick him up each Friday morning.
And Ellie. I’ve worked hard and sacrificed some time with her during this precious first year, but the result is being able to be with her so much more from here on out. Her little life is SO different than the life Henry and Ben had as babes. They’ll never know the difference, but I sure will. This is just the most fleeting, special time, when our kids are little, and I’m just so thankful that I can be around more for them now.
I’m eager to see what this journey will bring in year two. It’s exciting to not know what’s to come – who I’ll meet, what kind of experiences I’ll have, what the income will mean for our family, where this journey will lead. I do know, though, that I will never, ever take this for granted, and I will never stop working hard to make a better life for my family (and future generations of my family!) and to help my teammates do the same for their families. This opportunity is just one of the biggest blessings I have ever received.
Cheers to year two and all that lies ahead.