My name is Kim Prather. As I contemplate my newly attained status as a Young Living Gold Distributor, I am overwhelmed by how I got here. It all started 22 months ago, when I enrolled my first Young Living wholesale member. Now, with over 550 team members, I stand amazed. How did I get from there to here? This is my story.
My journey with Young Living Essential oils began inadvertently. One winter, my friend, Lisa, and her family had been conspicuously healthy. My family, on the other hand, had been catching a cold around every corner. When Lisa told me her secret, I was sure I had to try it too. Each day, she and her family drank a glass of water infused with 1-2 drops of Young Living Thieves Essential Oil blend, as they found that this was a wonderful way to support their immune system. Shortly after that, I read more about essential oils on a blog I frequented. This same blogger, Stacy McDonald, was having a great promotion on a starter kit, so I signed up as a wholesale member through her website.
At first, I didn’t know how to use my oils; so they sat, unused, for several months. In fact, because we had moved to a new state for my husband’s job, and the oils had been packed away for months, I hadn’t had the chance to experiment with them. It wasn’t until I was about seven months pregnant with our fifth child that I became interested again. I had another friend who had found much relief in using essential oils during childbirth. Plus, Stacy had posted on her website regarding her daughter’s use of oils during labor. So, I made my list and placed my first order.
Soon afterward, Stacy called me. She had noticed my large order and encouraged me to call and get it switched to an Essential Rewards (ER) order. That way, I could get the most for my money (including points for free oils and discounted shipping). We also talked a little about Young Living’s referral program and how I might be able to make an income by sharing with friends, which could pay for my ER order. My husband had just started a new job, so I was nervous. But I asked questions and promised to discuss it with him. Since the ER program required the commitment of a 50 pv monthly order, I couldn’t make that decision on my own. But, after talking to my husband, we decided to go for it.
That was December 2011, and during the same month, I decided that if I was going to be placing orders, I might as well try to earn a little back in commissions. Still, I had no interest in a business. And I made that quite clear to Stacy on the phone. In fact, I recently went back and looked at the email I sent to her. I said: “I doubt I’ll ever go far in YL (I’ve done several businesses with little success), but I might as well make some money while I talk about these amazing oils.” I was a busy, stay-at-home-homeschool-mom and didn’t have time for anything extra.
Famous last words. That month, I signed up seven people.
How? Well, one thing I did was immediately start talking to my friends about my experiences with the oils. But it wasn’t a “Hey, everyone! Come see what I’m doing now!!!” My first sharing experiences were during casual conversations. When friends would talk about their daily lives and how they were trying to be healthier, I would share about how Young Living Progessence Plus was a part of my overall daily regimine. In fact, I ordered some for several of the ladies who were in on the conversation, and many of them signed up later that month or the next. (Note: People don’t want your newest idea or solution—they don’t want a sales pitch. They want to know that you care about them, and that you’re willing to share your own experiences with them about something that may help).
I continued to share on my Facebook pages about the way I used the oils. But, I also made sure to keep the posts short and sweet: “I rubbed Peace & Calming essential oil on Ryan’s back last night and he said that he slept really well!” What I didn’t say was, “I love essential oils! Contact me for more information!” My friends could see how the oils were making a difference in the life of our family, and they started contacting me because they wanted that same success in their families. My friends trusted me—they knew I cared about them. I also made a conscience decision to make essential oils our family’s first line of defense, which made us a “products of the product.”
By the end of February 2012, I had 31 people on my team! Some were people that I personally enrolled, and others were placed in my organization by my upline. As I used my oils and talked about them with friends, I continued to grow. I even taught a couple of simple classes in my home.
One other thing that I tried to do was to always make myself available to answer questions. This didn’t mean that I knew all of the answers or that I could always answer them immediately, but I was honest about it; if I didn’t have an answer, I was willing to look it up. That was the key…I was willing to help!
To get started learning, I joined a very interactive Young Living Facebook group where we talked about the oils and learned from one another how others were using them. Around that same time, I started a blog/website for the purpose of educating and interacting with my own team. I found it important to have somewhere to send people who had questions about the oils or who wanted to purchase a starter kit.
One thing that I never did was to enroll someone as a “customer” (rather than as a wholesale member) on purpose. I do have a few people in my group enrolled as customers, but they are people who signed up on their own, and never completed the process by ordering. Do you see why I don’t recommend retail memberships? Retail customers typically don’t order. I try to always help people realize the benefits of ordering wholesale (as a distributor)…and the benefits are not just financial!
My husband was laid off in May 2012, started a new job in June, and started back to school the following month, in July of 2012. This meant that he was working and going to school full-time. We didn’t see him much, and since he does a lot around the house to keep it in order, this meant that I had to adjust to additional household duties. That summer, I didn’t see much growth; and I’m pretty sure that Stacy was about to give up on me!
August was a very slow month. I did try to listen to some conference calls, but I can’t say that I was too serious about it at that point. Remember, I was convinced that I wouldn’t go far because I had already experienced so many failures with other companies in the past.
Then, October! I’m not sure what happened, but people started to show an interest in oils again! I gained two new people, but my team signed up even more. Before month end, I had made Executive! I now had a team that was using and loving their oils, so my OGV more than doubled what I had done in August! As I look back, the funny thing to me is that, up until this point, I hadn’t been very deliberate with my business. I didn’t know how to be strategic by moving people under others. I saw Stacy doing it for me, but I had no idea that I could do it too. That month, Stacy told me not to keep anyone else directly under me; she said that I needed to start placing my enrollees under others to help them grow.
I started to think that maybe, just maybe, I could do this! Also, around this same time, I started getting frequent, random contacts from people on my Facebook wall—people who I had no idea were reading my statuses. I was also contacted by people who had expressed an interest several months prior and were now ready to become wholesale members! At this point, I was still only averaging 2-3 personally enrolled distributors per month, but my team was also working and getting excited.
In February, my husband lost his job due to budget cuts. So, we decided to really pour ourselves into Young Living like never before. He was also doing some side IT jobs, and establishing his new essential oil storage rack business. I tried to post something about the oils on my Facebook wall at least 2-3 times a week. I started teaching a few more classes and, of course, I remained committed to supporting my team. In fact, as I reflect back, I think I spent more time supporting and encouraging my team than I did recruiting new members.
I rose to the rank of Silver in March 2013—“Silver in Six!” This was only 5 months after making Executive. I was ecstatic!
While I entertained the idea of attending our local Farmer’s Market, it never worked out for me, due to the timing. My husband was still in school and hadn’t found any full-time employment. Family first!
In June/July, we went to visit family for a much needed break from the everyday. It was definitely a working vacation, as I taught 3 classes and had a few one-on-ones with my friends and relatives in Indiana. I came home and braced for August, since the month prior had been my worst month ever.
While not very strong in growth, I did still grow! I just kept talking and sharing.
I don’t have a magic formula or secret for how my business has grown, but I do have a few things that I believe are important:
Share because you care. Find a way of sharing that works for you and your family. I use Facebook quite a bit; but, those with a more outgoing personality have an easier time striking up conversations in person. One man I know keeps his cards on him at all times and passes them out like candy.
Be there for your team. Whether it’s answering questions about the products, or encouraging them in building their business, be available as much as possible. However, balance your time carefully between this and your other responsibilities. Set boundaries and hours if need be. Remember, your family comes first!
Make yourself duplicable (able to be duplicated). I hope I’ve done this for my team. I try to keep things simple. I’ve tried to make attentiveness to my team my strong suit. I teach classes, but I do it by using a script that my team is free to use as well. While I know that many see me as the expert, I am not. So, I try to equip people by encouraging them to do their own research, while still trying to support them by answering questions when I am able.
I also think that it can be easy to be discouraged by the business builders that make the rest of us look like we’re standing still! It’s important to remember that we all have our own story, and we need to work our business in a way that works best for our families. When you hear a new testimonial, glean what would work well in your own family, and let the rest go. Don’t compare yourself! If your schedule doesn’t allow several presentations a week (mine sure doesn’t!), then find other ways to reach people.
Find your niche, such as those looking for better ways to clean their homes; teachers wanting to have healthier, more attentive classrooms; families with children on the spectrum, etc. Find the different ways you can help those around you!
Above all, communicate with your team! Call them! Have email conversations with them! Find out how you can best help them, and get to know who they are. You might be surprised by what you can learn from them and their research! You can’t do this by yourself, and your upline can’t do it for you either. After a while, you’ll find that your team is doing most of the work, as you move into a new season of being an encouragement and a resource to your own growing organization. After doing these things consistently, you are likely to find yourself writing your own Gold story