3 Reasons to Stop Calling Network Marketing a “Pyramid Scheme”

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“Don’t hate what you don’t understand” – John Lennon

I see posts online with people calling the Network Marketing industry a pyramid scheme all the time, and I hear it in person occasionally as well. I have to say, when this happens it takes a lot of effort to keep myself from educating the people that said it. For this reason, I have set out to hopefully educate some people about Network Marketing a little bit so that we can do away with this line of thinking. To start out, I want to provide you all with the TRUE definition of a pyramid scheme for a basic understanding in case any of you are unsure:

Pyramid Scheme: a form of investment (illegal in the US and elsewhere) in which each paying participant recruits two further participants, with returns being given to early participants using money contributed by later ones.

If you are one of the people that typically refers to Network Marketing companies as a pyramid scheme, I wanted to share these three reasons with you to hopefully help you understand why you should really stop.

UntitledNumber 1: It is untrue. As defined above, a pyramid scheme revolves solely around recruitment. So as an example I wanted to show you what a pyramid scheme ad looks like. I didn’t really browse that hard, I just went to a random advertising group on Facebook and scrolled for about 5 minutes. I found this gem to the left, and this is just the first I came across of what I am sure would be many to be found on the wall of that group. This isn’t an obvious pitch for a pyramid scheme, because obviously, they would get in trouble. However, I have a little insider knowledge with this $25 per referral ad because someone tried to recruit me for this kind of crap in the past. And that is exactly what it is – total bullcrap. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a pyramid scheme. Their sole purpose is to go out and recruit people for the “company”. All they have to do to join is pay a small fee of $25+ dollars to join, and then they can start recruiting more people and earning money immediately. It is a constant return of cash from ONLY recruiting.

Do you see the difference between THIS and between legitimate Network Marketing companies? I hope you do, because it is pretty freakin’ huge… THERE ARE PRODUCTS AND/OR SERVICES FOR SALE… If it is a company that has legitimate products for purchase, it does NOT qualify as a pyramid scheme, despite the fact that it does involve team building. In fact, when you think about a typical corporate environment, there are often bonuses for referrals. When you work at the company for so long, you are granted the opportunity to make recommendations for people that you think would be a good addition to the company. If they are hired, make it through the probationary period, and succeed in their role, you receive compensation for the recommendation. So when you think of it that way, the corporate environment has team building too! The problem here is that this industry is a relatively new concept to people, so it is difficult to grasp I guess. Think of it this way: Each person involved in Network Marketing is essentially the CEO of their own company. In order for a company to grow and become successful, they typically must have other employees and grow in size. It is the same with Network Marketing. To become truly successful, you need to build a team, and you need to nurture that team consistently to help them grow teams of their own as well. When you think of it this way, Network Marketing actually is more of an inverse pyramid. Why? Because in order for one person to be successful, they have to aid their team to be successful. You can’t just recruit a bunch of people, then sit back and rake in cash. You need to train your team, help your team to grow, and push your team to achieve new heights in their business. Nobody can simply sit back and get complacent, which appears to be a common assumption.

Number 2: It is offensive. Seriously though! If you ask anyone in the Network Marketing business what they think about people that refer to their JOB as being a pyramid scheme, chances are they will say that it drives them a little bonkers. It is just so frustrating to be so passionate about a company that you love, and to have so many people on so many different fronts constantly trying to dis what you do. We work HARD at what we do (or at least those of us trying to make this a real career) and it can be offensive and rude to have people look us in the face and call the Network Marketing industry a scam or a pyramid scheme. If you care about your friends and family involved in this industry, please do not use those terms when speaking to them about their business. Even when speaking to strangers, it is best if you just keep those words out of your vocabulary when discussing this topic. These days Network Marketing is becoming super popular for being part-time endeavors, so you seriously could be meeting tons of strangers every day that have businesses outside of their “real” jobs without your knowledge. If you want to avoid an awkward and uncomfortable conversation, just keep those little negative thoughts to yourself!

Number 3: It makes YOU look bad. I am aware that this one may offend a few people, because I am sure that there are a lot of you out there that are guilty of doing this on a fairly regular basis. However, I gotta be real… It seriously makes you look kinda silly and ignorant to those of us that actually know the true definition of a pyramid scheme. We live in a time where SO many people around the world are bringing in full-time earnings by working at home with their direct sales business. There are millionaires in many of these companies, and more and more are made all of the time. If you put the time and effort into this industry, and you are willing to learn and to grow as a person, you can be successful in this industry as well. To say that something is a scam, when it is clearly doing so much good for so many family and individuals around the world, is just ridiculous.

If you have been guilty of this, I want to encourage you to please just stop. Start thinking of Network Marketing for what it really is – a successful business opportunity not for the faint of heart.

xoxo

Jess

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5 Ways to Avoid Junk Food in the Workplace

5 Ways to Avoid Junk Food

Does your place of employment make it difficult for you to stay on your healthy eating path with regular treats and ways to cheat? Mine does!

So for now I say, “Yay for small victories!” Here’s why.

With my current place of employment, there are breakfast treats from a bakery provided every Friday. I am usually fine with that as long as I don’t go in the lunch room. Yesterday junkfood.workwas a little different though because our manager brought timbits (Canadian bite sized donuts lol… tasty little devils) and coffee. I was OK all morning until I went to refill my water bottle and saw the box. I figured the chocolate ones were gone anyway so I could just take a peek. Chocolate ones were in there. I stopped and stared like a doofus for a good 30 seconds with the devil on my shoulder telling me to take one.

I didn’t cave! I’m only two and a half weeks fully back on track with my fitness and nutrition, so I didn’t want to risk messing with my progress. Now to survive next week at work with a treat trolley, lunches being provided, suppers occasionally if you stay late etc. I think I’m in deep trouble lol.

I realized that if I am finding this to be a struggle, there must be others like me working in similar environments that are struggling with the exact same issue. I wanted to share a bit about how you can help make this process of avoidance a little easier.

Here we go!

Don’t say “I can’t have that”

Seriously! Instead of saying to yourself or to others than you can’t have something because you’re on a diet, start telling yourself and others that you “don’t want that”. If you allow yourself to think that you are restricting yourself from something that you want, it becomes a lot harder to resist. Think about how bad the treat can be for you, and how it can ruin your progress and set you off course, and think “I can have this if I want to, but do I really want to eat it?” If you think positively about the situation and say that you don’t want that because you owe it to yourself to eat clean and create a healthier life for yourself, you WILL feel better about the decision to avoid whatever tasty treat was put in front of you.

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Bring your own snacks and meals

This is a big one. Prepare your healthy meals and snacks before you go to work. If you get hungry, go eat one of the snacks or meals that you brought for yourself. If you don’t have a fridge handy and your meal needs to be kept cool (as most healthy meals would), then you can invest a small amount of money in one of the many cooler bags out there designed for health and fitness individuals. I have one, and I used it every single shift when I was working in an environment that had no fridge. Having snacks and meals readily available makes you far less likely to indulge on whatever treat your office is providing this time. If you don’t have these healthy choices available and you happen to be hungry at the time of the junk food option, you are way more likely to give in.

Avoid the area that holds the treats

For me I know to avoid the lunch room on Fridays because of the breakfast treats. If there are coffee and timbits provided, I know to avoid the table on which they are kept. If cupcakes are brought in to our daily morning meeting (which happens whenever someone in the office has a birthday), I know to leave right after the meeting to avoid seeing all of the other people munching down on the cupcakes. Don’t torture yourself by putting yourself around the foods that you crave, and instead try to avoid those areas if you can.

Celebrate the times you avoid the treats

Be really happy and proud of yourself for avoiding these office temptations! Pat yourself of the back. Join health and fitness groups and networks, and share your small little victory with others. See what I did here, I did exactly what I am telling you to do in this very blog post! When you learn to celebrate these small victories, it becomes easier and easier for you to stay strong each time an opportunity presents itself to cheat.

Get your office involved in your journey

Share what you are doing! Tell other people about your goals and what you are trying to accomplish, and ask them to please be respectful of your goals by not shoving things under your nose that can hamper your progress. Sharing your goals with others will help to keep you accountable, and it could also help you find a person to go through the journey with you. Having a partner go on the journey with you is definitely a huge advantage, because you will both help to keep one another accountable. If you’re REALLY motivated to keep on track, you could even try to get the whole office involved by doing a friendly competition. Have a little “biggest loser” competition, or have a “step counting competition”. Get the office doing something that will keep them active and guide them to a healthier lifestyle, because if you get them on board your life in the workplace will get a whole lot easier!

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Lastly, I just want to say that if you do find yourself in a position where you have “cheated” on your nutrition and your meal plan if you have one, DO NOT get mad at yourself and allow that to get in the way of your progress. So many people give in once, and then they use that as an excuse to binge for the rest of the day. “Well I already messed up once so I may as well make this a cheat day”. Don’t do it. Just don’t, please! That is a verrrrryyy slippery slope to be on you guys, and trust me, this is coming from experience because I’ve done it myself a thousand times before. A cheat meal can turn into a cheat day, and a cheat day very easily turns into a cheat weekend, which then can turn into a cheat week, and then all of a sudden before you know it… a month has gone by and you’ve barely worked out or eaten healthy, and you find yourself right back where you started having gained back some weight. If you make a slip up once, be like “that’s okay, one mistake is not going to hurt me and I can be really good for the rest of the week.” Stop yourself from being down and discouraged one one tiny mistake, and definitely don’t let that cause you to give up on your goals.

xoxo

Jess

How to get a Perfect Smokey Eye in 3 Simple Steps

NEW BLOG POST!

I have been practicing with makeup since middle school, which was before a lot of people my age at the time even wore makeup. Mind you, I was never very skilled at it back then lol. As I got older though, I got a lot better at application. I started teaching myself how to do things by watching videos on YouTube, much like many of you have done before I am sure. Through high school, and especially university, I would get a lot of compliments on my eye makeup. To this day, I still get compliments pretty regularly from people that say “Oh I could never do something like that, I have no idea how you do it”.

If this is you, well trust me when I say, YOU CAN. Honestly, my smokey eye looks are pretty freakin’ simple haha. I just use great products and apply it in a way that blends well and makes my eyes pop. It really doesn’t take that much time either, and you can literally do it in three simple steps. Now. My intention was actually to have a video to post in here with the demo photos, but I done messed up haha. I filmed the video last night after work, or at least so I thought. Come to find out, I must have missed the button when I hit record, because the only video I had from yesterday was of me cleaning up. So, when I thought I was stopping the recording, that was when it started. I’m human, so don’t judge lol. I will film another one and insert it as soon as I can. For now though, I wanted to make sure that I fulfilled my promise on social media from earlier this week to provide instructions on how to do a smokey eye.

Browns-Neutrals

Step 1: You start out with a light shade. You can do this with pretty much any eye shadow that you have, whether it be from a palette, loose pigment, cream shadow, etc. It honestly doesn’t matter what kind of shadow you’re using, it will all do the same thing just with different variations in look. This light shade should be something like beige, white, off white, or super light colors that go with the look you’re creating. Use personal preference to determine if you want something shimmer or matte – personally I go glitter all day every day! You will take whatever you have chosen for step one, and apply it directly under your brow to highlight and all over that upper part of your lid. It will be more concentrated right under the brow, and then you just blend it downward. This shade will also be applied in the inner corner of your eye, and the inner half section of your eye lid. In the photo you see to your right, I am using the second shade on the palette for this smokey eye look in neutral browns.

Step 2: This will be a medium shade. Again, you can choose the type of shadow and the Blacks-Silvers
color palette. This shade will be similar to the first shade, but a few tones darker. This part is a bit easier because the application area is far smaller. With this shade, you pretty much just need to continue where you left off with step one. You will apply the second shade to the outer area of your lid right up to the middle, which is where it will meet the lighter shade from step one. Just go over that connecting area with little swiping motions to blend it in a bit. I usually fan this second color up a little bit into the crease as well to provide a base, but that is not necessary because you will be covering it up anyway. To the right you will see me demonstrating palette 2, which is a palette that comes with shades of black, grey, and silver. Here you see me using the second shade down again for the highlighting of step one, and the fourth shade down for this second step. You can see that it is just a couple of shades darker than the highlighting color that I used, and again this one was in shimmer.

Pinks-Purples

Step 3: This is where you will be creating the smokey part of your smokey eye. You will choose a darker color for this step, and you can choose to go really dark or stay relatively toned down depending on your personal preference. For this look I was going for purples, so I chose to opt out of the black as the darkest shade for the crease and go for the second darkest, which was a royal purple. For the first step of this look I used the fourth shade down to highlight, and then the fifth shade for step two. The sixth shade was then applied as a line from the outside corner of my eye heading toward my eyebrow, but you stop about halfway there. You then shade in that v area in the outer corner of your eye, and when you don’t have a lot of product left on your brush, you fan it up and around in that crease of your eye lid. Just go over that area a few times to blend it together, and if necessary you can add a tiny amount of product to the brush to make sure that it actually is visible. If you want, you can also apply this darker shade to the lower lash line, but that comes down to personal preference.

So there ya go ladies! This is how I create super simple smokey-eye looks with different color palettes on a daily basis. The products that were used in these demos are all Younique Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palettes, but you can replicate the same kind of looks with pretty much any palettes that you have on hand! It is quick and easy once you get the hang of it, so give it a try with whatever products you have! If you’re really brave, you can even send in your attempts to jessica@fitnessbeautytravel.com. I would love to hear about your experience and see how you made out with my tip!

Thanks for reading ladies, I hope you found this useful!

xoxo

Jess

My Naked Truth

Yesterday I entered a new chapter in my life. Yesterday was the day that I devoted myself fully to my goals, and turned ideas into action steps to help me achieve those goals. One of these action steps came in the form of The Naked Leader, a coaching program with Janelle Fraser. One of the very first things that I learned, and something that is said to be the foundation for all leaders, is that you have to be 100% unapologetically yourself.

“Being a naked leader is defined as someone who purposefully chooses to lead and share a message wilst showing up fully as their true self.”  – Janelle Fraser

This concept essentially refers to being open, honest, and vulnerable with your followers. Nobody is perfect, but when you’re running a business, you often feel like you have to portray perfection all of the time to be successful. The concept of the Naked Leader totally challenges that habit to hide the messier side of your life. Instead, it encourages you to OWN the things from your past, present, and future that maybe are not as “polished” as you would like them to be. In honor of this challenge, I wanted to reveal the naked truth that is who I am, and how I got here.

This is most likely about to be a long one, so turn back now unless you want to be in it for the long haul!  

Note that any names used will be changed..

We all struggle a bit through adolescence. That goofy, awkward, roller-coaster of emotions time of your life where you are learning and growing as a human being. I had a pretty normal childhood full of ups and downs, and lessons learned. It was at the age of 15 when my life kind of got spun around 360 degrees and flipped upside down.

Age 14 was a tough year for me, because the boyfriend that I was madly in love with “allegedly” cheated on me with another girl. You tend to feel those emotions so powerfully when you are young, so it crushed me. We spent the summer broken up, but things picked back up when we got back to school the following September. That was when I started to change. Prior to that incident, I was pretty much a goody-two-shoes. I didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or even swear. When I allowed myself to go back to my ex, I started changing all of those things about myself gradually to make the Love-quotes-Dont-change-to-make-someonerelationship work. (If you are doing this – STOP NOW while you have the chance… No relationship worth having should EVER require you replacing good qualities and habits about yourself with bad ones) I wish someone had shared that advice with me because I started drinking, I smoked marijuana, I skipped class, the whole nine yards. It was not a healthy relationship, and the feelings that I felt for him certainly were not reciprocated in the same manner. Instead of being uplifted, I was constantly torn down and made to feel broken and worthless. He never physically laid a hand on me, but sometimes chronic manipulation, lying, and emotional abuse can be just as rough on a person. Eventually the school year ended, and he walked out of my life. The result was a risk-taking, newly single 15 year old ready to finally let loose and have some fun during the summer.

My dad has been a paramedic since I was a little girl, and I remember growing up he would always tell me stories about his work. Specifically stories about the reserve, no doubt trying to warn me of the dangers he had seen and keep me away from it all. As a father, he tried to warn me about drinking and partying in general. I had always heeded his warnings, until that summer. My best friend at the time had moved into a home on the reserve with her father and his girlfriend, and she had told me about a party her friends were having. We plotted a way for me and my step-sister to be able to go to the party without raising suspicion among our parents. My sister’s mom was told she was staying the night at my house, while my mom was told that we were both staying the night at Ashley’s house. Of course both of our mothers were told that her parents would be around for supervision. It was a pretty classic scenario, so I am sure that you have already guessed by this point that there were no parents present that weekend. Our plan worked perfectly, and we went off to Ashley’s house to get ready for the party. The first several hours were actually really fun, and I started to think that my dad had been wrong. Everyone had been really nice and accepting, for the most part.

My sister ended up drinking a little too much that night, to a point where she actually made me chase her out into a field when it came time to get her to go back to the house and call it a night. Whenever a friend gets too drunk, I think it is almost a natural instinct for us to cut back and take care of them instead of getting inebriated ourselves. That is what I chose to do that night. When I finally rounded her up, I found Ashley and her cousin and prepared to go back to the house. Ashley had a crush on one of the guys from the party, so she brought him and his friend back to the house to continue hanging out. Everything was fine at first, but once people started going to bed, everything changed. My sister had passed out on the bed, I was on the bed beside her, and the friend of Ashley’s date was beside me. When the other three left the room, it was just him and I left awake. He was drunk, so naturally when left alone with a girl, he made his move. At first I didn’t mind, we fooled around around for a bit because it felt nice to be kissed again. It didn’t take long for that to change though, and the requests for more started. It basically began by being told to take off my pants, and I kept insisting that I wouldn’t. I said my sister was right beside us and would wake up as an excuse. He tried to get me to go in another room, but I refused to do that too. Eventually it got more insistent, and he said if I didn’t take my pants off, he would. I continued to refuse, because I had no intentions of sleeping with anyone that night. He followed through with his statement though, and as it started, I laid on the bed motionless, crying, mumbling “no” over and over again, and just waited until it was over. When he was finished, he pretty much just got up from the bed, got dressed, and left the room without saying a word.

I know exactly what you’re probably thinking, because it was a running inner monologue of mine for a long time. Why didn’t you fight him off? Why didn’t you scream for help? Why didn’t you make more of an effort to stop this from happening? My honest to god answer is this – I don’t know. I had so many things running through my head that night. The biggest thought process of all was my father’s stories about the reserve, what he had seen, what the men can be like, the abuse, the murders and assaults, and more.  I’ve grown up now, and I recognize fully that they are not all like that, but at the time I just kept thinking about those stories and how I1 didn’t want to be one of the girls picked up in an ambulance beaten to a bloody pulp. I was afraid of what might happen if I did resist and fight. I didn’t think this guy was abusive, but then again, I was 15 and I had literally just met him that night. I wasn’t exactly in a good position to make that kind of judgment call. I had my sister to think about too, who was lying beside us totally dead to the world from drinking too much, and I didn’t want her to get hurt too. So I made a choice. I made a choice to just stay still and wait. Maybe everything would have been fine had I made more of an effort, or maybe I would have been driven to the hospital in an ambulance and not my mother’s car. That is something that I will never know.

I told my sister about what happened the next day, and we went back to my house. I struggled with the decision as to whether or not I should tell anyone. I really didn’t want to tell anyone else because I felt responsible for what happened to me. I didn’t feel like I could call it rape, because I had been fooling around with him first. I felt like I had brought it on myself, and that it was my fault for getting his hopes up in that way and expecting him not to follow through. By some stroke of what I thought at the time to be sheer luck, my uncle stopped by the house while my mom was out. I thought, “if I just tell him what happened, I can ask him to keep my secret.” It was pretty freakin’ naive, but at the time I was desperate, and he was my only hope to get the morning after pill. I was terrified to death of pregnancy and STD’s. As soon as my mom came home, my uncle left the house and met her on the walkway. The look on her face as she walked through the door with tears running down her cheeks still breaks my heart today.

What came next was a visit to the hospital, where my mom told my dad, and my dad told my grandparents, and I ended up in a hospital room with most of my immediate family. It was awkward, uncomfortable, and humiliating. I hated every second of it. I had a hard time filing the report with the police because I had to admit to my family that I had been fooling around with him first. I blamed myself, so I expected them to do the same. They didn’t. Next I was poked and prodded by the nurses as they performed a rape kit, extracted about 10 vials of blood for testing, and shot a massive needle into my butt that hurt like hell and burned so badly that it made me scream loud enough that my family could hear me in the hallway. The whole experience was just painful in more ways than one for my entire family. Beyond that, I was given a huge bag full of medications that I needed to take to help reduce my risk for contracting HIV. Testing had to be done in another 6 months to be fully sure, so I had to ensure several months of the unknown and worrying as well.

When I went back home, everything seemed different. My parents were on edge and understandably overprotective, so it made it difficult for me to interact with my friends. It really didn’t help matters that my closest friends at the time were male, and my parents viewed all guys in my life as the devil. Ashley was no longer my friend because my mom had told her parents about what had happened, and it had gotten her into trouble. Along 14424672with her and her entire family, a lot of people thought that I had made the whole thing up. They thought that my behavior was not that of a person who had just been raped, because if I had really been through that, I wouldn’t be comfortable hanging out with my guy friends. I knew them and trusted I them, so I was not scared of them. They knew about what happened, and they supported me through it when my girl friends laid blame, labelled me as a lying slut, and abandoned me. Ashley and I made up years later, and she understood after I explained all that I had been subjected to after that night. It is not something that a girl takes lightly. I encourage you to think about that next time you wonder whether or not to believe a rape report.

A week after the party, we heard noise coming from our back yard. A friend of my mothers was here, so we sent him out to check it out. It was a group of natives, and they were vandalizing a vehicle in our back yard. In all of the time that we had lived in this house prior to that summer, and all the time spent in that home after that single incident, we have lived there without anything like that happening again. I will never know for sure, but at the time, I took it as a threat and a warning. It scared me to death. I decided not to pursue charges partly out of fear, but also because I still believed that I was to blame. Regardless, I couldn’t stand the thought of going back to school and having to face him, all of the other natives, and his many friends who would most likely believe him over me. I thought for sure that I would end up getting beaten up at school, and I refused to go back. My mom sent a letter to the other high school in our little town, and luckily they accepted me as a transfer student against their regulations due to the circumstances.

The very first week at my new school, I made friends with the kind of kids that parents don’t approve of… for obvious reasons. The kind that do drugs, skip school, and party. I remember the very first night that I met them, and it was at our local carnival that takes place at the end of every summer vacation. I had been offered drugs that afternoon and had turned it down, but I later saw a group of people associated with the guy who had sexually assaulted me earlier that summer. I panicked, and I started to lose my mind a little bit. I sent my sister to investigate and verify that he wasn’t there, and I ended up agreeing to take my very first ecstasy pill to calm my nerves and try to have a good night. From that point forward I spent about 6 months of grade 11 high on weed or ecstasy, drunk, or a combination of both. It made me feel better, or at least I thought it did for a while. All it really did was make me forget, and give me a false sense of happiness for several hours until the crash. My solution to that was to just do it again the next day to keep it going. At one point down the line, I was offered some acid. I accepted, and ended up taking 4 hits of acid in one night. I am pretty sure my eyes remained open and unblinking for over 10 hours by the pain I felt the following day. I absolutely loved being on acid, even more than I enjoyed ecstasy, so I knew that I could never touch it again or I would become hooked to that too. It wasn’t too long after that night that the nightmares began. I had not had a bad trip while on acid, but apparently that doesn’t matter. Acid can leave its mark on you long after the initial dose. For about a month straight, I had to sleep with the light on because I would wake up petrified from the nightmares of what seemed to be of a bad acid trip. I would be hanging upside down from the ceiling unable to move. I would be seemingly glued to place on the bed as ghost-like forms lunged at my face. Basically all of the crazy stuff that a young person fears during the night when the lights are off is exactly what would appear in my head while I slept. It was extremely vivid.

This is another turning point in my life. I started to really think about where I was and what I was doing to myself. I started wondering, what if this is God sending me a message and telling me that I need to stop doing drugs. Please note that I do not identify myself with any particular religion, so I am not trying to preach to you about God. Regardless of my beliefs or non-beliefs, I thought of these nightmares as being a bad omen. I decided that the drugs needed to come to a stop.

Unfortunately for me, I did not decide to stop drinking, and I continued to hang out with the same crowd of people. One night I was at a party drinking, and I had consumed a large cooler (basically a cooler the size of a wine bottle) and 1 mixed drink with rum. By this point, I had obviously become accustomed to drinking alcohol, and I had built up quite a tolerance for the stuff. Those coolers were basically juice for me, and for someone who typically just did shots and drank hard stuff from the bottle, 1 mixed drink didn’t do much damage either. I remember sitting on the couch having a conversation with my cousins boyfriend, feeling fine and having a great time. I finished up that drink, and he offered to get me another. He came back with my drink and we continued to talk as I drank it. I don’t really know if I ever finished that drink, because everything from that point on is pretty hazy despite it being so early in the evening. I remember him helping me to the bathroom, and holding my hair as I threw up. I vaguely remember him helping me to a bed in a bedroom, and then offering to get me water. Everything beyond him leaving the room is a mystery.

I was woken up really early in the morning by my friend saying that I needed to go home because I was in his bed. I groggily got up, got my things, and went out to the cab. I turned on my laptop when I got home to check Facebook, and I had a large amount of messages from my cousin. She was livid, and was accusing me of having slept with her boyfriend. I had no idea what she was talking about, but she said people from the party had told her. I sent a message to the friends of mine that had hosted the party and I asked him what had happened. He told me that it was true, and that the guy had been bragging about it. My cousin said one of the girls at the party told her I bragged about it too (but the source was a girl that didn’t like me to begin with, so I don’t know for sure if I did get up from the bed at some point through the night to talk to people or not). When I went to get undressed to put my pajamas on and go back to sleep, I found a large amount of dark blood on my underwear. I didn’t think that it was the right time for my period, and when I 11174887_10153782931693508_8908561499487718016_nfelt the soreness the next morning, I had to face facts. At that point, I knew it was true. This time I didn’t tell anyone, I just went to the clinic on my university campus to have tests run. The bleeding continued, and I was told that the guy that night must have been very rough because it had caused damage internally that was made evident from the discoloration of the blood. I blamed myself again, because I was the one that had made the choices that had ultimately led me to that moment. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it is very likely that I was drugged. I knew from the start that something about that night just didn’t make sense, but I hadn’t been able to put my finger on it until I learned in one of my psychology classes about the date rape drugs and their effects. Much like the last time that this kind of thing had happened, I still considered myself to be at fault, so this time I kept the whole thing to myself. I didn’t report it to the police or tell my family. I hadn’t gotten pregnant or contracted any STD’s, so I just dealt with the bleeding on my own and tried my best to act like it hadn’t happened.

It is kind of ironic actually. When I was assaulted the first time, it led me to the darkness. This time, it brought me out into the light, because it gave me the strength that I needed to finally put an end to my destructive behavior. I quit drinking cold-turkey, and I cut ties with most of my “friends”. I use quotation marks because for the most part, once I quit drinking and partying, they really didn’t seem to care about me or want to spend time with me anyway. I started focusing on my school work, and I turned the second half of grade 11 around to a point where I was getting mostly 80’s and 90’s. I was isolated though, and very damaged, so the depression sunk in. I started to supplement my feelings with food, and I would eat junk food constantly in an attempt to make myself feel better. I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food, and the result was rapid weight gain, which ultimately led to more depression, and more junk food consumption, and the cycle continued on and on and on. I pretty much spent that second half of grade 11, and my entire graduation year, isolated and alone.

I did very well in school that last year, and I did it without touching a drop of alcohol. I decided that I wanted to go to law school to become a prosecutor so that I could make a difference by putting away the bad guys. Since I spent my weekends alone, I developed an obsession with Criminal Minds reruns that played pretty much non-stop each weekend along with CSI. I bought the entire collection on Ebay, and binge watched the entire series. I decided that I wanted to become the Canadian version of a profiler, which, much to my surprise, actually does exist within the RCMP under the title “Criminal Investigative Analyst”. I spent grade 12 working towards getting into the school that I had chosen, and I did get in. From that point forward, I was focused entirely on getting what I wanted. I knocked all basic requirements out first year, and the next year was split equally between Criminology and Psychology. Third year was spent fulfilling requirements for the honours program and additional Criminology and Psychology requirements, and fourth year was spent finalizing all requirements needed for my double major and honours in Criminology. In the end, I made it out alive and graduated with honours in distinction. My studies in these subjects taught me a lot about myself, my circumstances, and society. Unfortunately, the world we live in appears to have made victim-blaming so commonplace that most women and girls victhat are victimized automatically begin the line of thinking that they must have done something to deserve it. Maybe they think their outfit was too revealing, or like me their earlier actions suggested consent. What I have learned is that it was NOT my fault. It was NOT okay for someone to continue once the word “no” had been uttered even once, let alone numerous times. It was NOT okay for someone to have rough sex with a person that had thrown up and then needed to be put into bed with a glass of water. It was NOT okay for people to put the blame on me. It was NOT okay for those guys to take what they wanted from me and leave me to pick up the pieces of my broken life. Most importantly, I learned that I would be okay. I always wanted to someday tell this story to the world in an attempt to hopefully help others going through similar circumstances to learn these important facts for themselves, and I just now mustered the courage.

Toward the end of my third year of my degree I made a life-changing decision. I decided that I was going to take my life back, and that I was not going to allow my life to be dictated by my past. I decided that I refused to spend my grad year of university the way that I had spent my grad year of high school. I was miserable, alone, and just totally defeated back then. I set to work immediately after school ended that third year, and I began P90X. This Beachbody program helped me change my habits. I worked out 6 days a week for 6 full months with that program, and I ate clean through the duration of that period as well. When I finished that, I tried Turbo Fire, then Les Mills PUMP, and so on. By the time that I got back into school for my grad year, I was feeling so much better about myself as a person. I was happier, I was getting my confidence back, and I was pushing myself to talk to people and make friends. I did go out to grad events that year, and I had fun and made memories this time. All of this helped me come to the realization that my desire to be a prosecutor or in the RCMP really wasn’t about the job itself. It was about getting revenge on the people that had hurt me by putting away other bad guys in their place. To take those kinds of positions would have been focusing on a life of negativity. I would have been constantly surrounded by terrible acts of abuse, and I would have to live with that burden on top of that which I already bear. When I came to this realization, I decided that I was better off choosing a different path.

I decided to skip grad school. I became a Beachbody Coach to help motivate and encourage others to achieve results like I had. I later joined Younique because I fell in love with their makeup. I’ve since been on a backpacking trip where I explored Barcelona, Paris, and London. I’ve been to Chicago, Vegas, and California, and I have trips planned to Nashville and St. Louis next summer. I have had so much positivity come into my life since making the decision to let go of my past, and I just have to keep reminding myself of this every time that I slide backwards.

Now you may be curious about the whole cold-turkey alcohol situation. I quit halfway through grade 11, and I did not touch alcohol until a few months into my first year of university. The impact that it has had on my behavior is huge though. I am very conscious of what I am drinking and how much I am drinking while I am out. If I am out with people I am not 100% sure I can trust, I make sure to stay sober enough to handle myself should a tough situation come about (it helps now that I have Les Mills COMBAT under my belt lol). I NEVER allow anyone but a bartender or daterapesignificant other to provide me with a drink while out. I tend to just totally ignore all men while at a bar, unless I went there with them or I know them already. I stick to the buddy system and always go out drinking with a friend, or don’t go at all. I am sure there are more weird little quirks, but ladies, regardless of whether or not you’ve been assaulted, you should all be doing these things to protect yourself. We shouldn’t have to – but this is the world that we live in, so we need to take precautions while we work and fight for change.

The impact that this has had on my relationships has been pretty powerful as well. Men tend to not be a fan of my perspective, so I guess in a way it is a good thing, because it weeds out the unworthy. I will not sleep with people until we are in a committed relationship, or have at least been dating for a while. The point is this: I’ve gotten to know them, I have come to trust them, and I can see the potential for a future with them. I once had a guy respond to this rule with “you don’t buy a car without test driving it first”, but in my case, yes you do. Needless to say, this guy is no longer a part of my world. Our happiness is not defined by having a man in our life. I have come to learn that if they can’t handle me needing time and space to get to know them and trust them before getting intimate in that way, then they don’t deserve to be in my life in the first place. I would rather be single, working on my own personal development, growing my businesses, and creating a life of happiness for myself than be in an unhealthy relationship that is going nowhere.

I am human. I am flawed. I am far from perfect. I have made terrible decisions that have had very bad consequences, and I know that I will make more bad choices throughout my lifetime. I can’t say that I regret any of the choices that I have made in my past, because it has led me to who I am in the present. Who I am is a good person that has had a few hurdles thrown in her path. I am also a person that deserves to be happy, and I am ready to do whatever it takes to create that for myself, no matter how many hurdles I have to knock over to get there.  No more hiding. No more keeping secrets. It is time to lay it all out there so that I can finally move past this and get started on my future.

If you are struggling with being a victim of sexual assault, I strongly encourage you to talk to someone. Anyone. You NEED to get this off your chest. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone in your life, please write to me. Use the contact page here on my blog, and reach out to me. I promise that I will talk to you, and do my best to help you through this. If you are struggling with a drug problem, regardless of the type, and regardless of how far along you are, I encourage you to STOP if you can. If you are too far along and you physically can’t do it yourself, I encourage you to do the same. Reach out to someone for help, even if that someone is me. If you are struggling with depression due to body issues or anything else, I encourage you to get help as well. Again, reach out to me if necessary. You can’t do this on your own. I had a lot of help along the way from my loving and supportive family, and I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without them in my life. You need someone to be in your corner, and if you don’t have anyone else, please let me be in your corner to help you get through this.

One of the reasons why I am SO passionate about Younique is because of what they stand for and what they support. Our mission statement is to Uplift. Empower. Validate. I just love that. Our goal is to be women supporting other women, making them feel amazing and beautiful, and 15 - 1most of all, making them feel like they are worth it. YOU are worth it. Younique has created a foundation to support survivors of sexual abuse, and it is a very powerful and empowering initiative that just fills my heart with that much more love for this company. As I mentioned before, I had the privilege of attending the 2015 Younique Convention in Chicago, IL. Prior to our convention, Younique challenged everyone to submit a video lip syncing to the super-powerful Fight Song by Rachel Platten. A select few of these videos were clipped and made into a video that was shown at convention. On top of everything else, this was beautiful and it certainly brought tears to my eyes. Check it out:

 You are not alone, and you will get through this.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for reading. If my story helps even just one person, it will be worth it. Please know that this is not a cry for attention, nor is it an attempt to point fingers at the two men. All of this is behind me now, and I simply want anyone else struggling with these issues to see that you CAN turn things around.

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xoxo

Jess

5 Reasons Direct Sales is MADE for the Struggling Student

Something about myself that many of my online readers may not know, is that I actually started my Younique and Beachbody businesses while I was an undergrad student. There are challenges that accompany that for sure, because along with class, you are often trying to balance readings, writing papers, preparing presentations or projects, working part-time, and having some form of social life. Having a direct sales business on top of all of that sounds daunting to you on top of all of your other tasks, and it does come with unique challenges. However, it also has a lot of hidden perks. When you have classes through the week, and schedules that change from one term to the next, it can be difficult to find steady employment that is above minimum wage… and let’s face it, minimum wage on part-time working hours for a student is often just not enough. When I started school, I was actually working three part-time jobs. Each job individually did not provide me with enough hours, so I kept taking on more and more. This resulted in little sleep, a lot of stress, and not enough time to focus on my schoolwork. Any of the higher paid jobs typically do not accept students, because they prefer to have people that are going to be there long-term and working on a full-time basis. Add to that the fact that it is becoming increasingly hard to find a job in the first place, at least where I am from in the Maritimes.

I was pretty fortunate in that I was able to get into a good and steady job the summer after my second year of my degree. It wasn’t much in terms of hours during the winter months, but the hours and income I had during the summer allowed me to save. I also managed to get a perfect job for a student in my final year, a security guard in a government building. I worked weekends, which admittedly did suck, but it permitted me to study and work on schoolwork in between my responsibilities because the building was nearly always shut down on weekends. Most students are unable to have that luxury. For that reason, it is almost like the direct sales industry is perfect for the struggling student.

Here’s 5 reasons WHY direct sales is MADE for the struggling student:

  1. You have the ability to choose your own schedule. Have exams coming up, three papers to write, and a presentation to prepare for a seminar? Not an issue. With a direct sales business, YOU get to choose when and how you work. If you only have 5 minutes before class, you can write a quick post for Facebook and share an image on social media. Network marketing provides you with the freedom and flexibility to CHOOSE when you need to focus on your studies, and when you have time to focus on your business. There were some days when I was just totally drained mentally, emotionally, and physically from school (especially exam week), so having the ability to say “you know what, I think I need to take a day off from working my business and focus on my studies, or even just to relax and power up” is amazing.
  2. You are surrounded by potential customers. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t use that huge advantage while I had the chance. I am shy and more introverted, so I didn’t network like I could have. If you are a social person, this is honestly the perfect opportunity for you to use that to your benefit and make connections that will ultimately propel your business forward. University is just full of students, and gives you a giant advantage over everyone else doing a business. You have opportunities to meet new people DAILY.
  3. You save money on products you love. When you pick a direct sales company to join, you need to make it something that you love and fully support. In doing so, you will be genuine with those around you and they will see that in you. Working for a company that you love will allow you to get the products you would be buying anyway at a much cheaper price, and even make a return on all of your purchases through commissions from sales you make with the company. I chose Beachbody and Younique, and my focus has primary been on my makeup business. It is something that I absolutely love and enjoy doing, and it allows me to save money on amazing makeup that I would be buying full price.
  4. You can take your job with you wherever you go. I went to school in my hometown, but a lot of people that I went to school with were from out of town. Many people came from different cities, provinces, or even countries to study. If this is you, what happens to your job if you go home over the holidays, during summer breaks, or when you graduate? Chances are a place of employment will be okay with 1 week vacation to go home, but they won’t be down with an entire summer. With direct sales, you can bring your business WITH you. While on holiday breaks, summer breaks, or upon graduation, you can continue working on your business. It is even better for you this way, because it allows you to network and make connections in your hometown and across the country as well!
  5. Extra income to support you throughout your degree. Every company is different, so I can’t speak for the payment schedules of all direct sales companies. However, I can tell you that with Younique, I get paid just THREE hours after a sale. The commission is deposited onto a special Younique credit card that you can withdraw from, or even use to pay for in-store purchases like groceries, gas, etc. Personally, I’ve chosen to allow my commission to accumulate on the card and then use it to pay off my student loans. For a student though, this would be perfect for you. If you’re short on cash and you need to pay for a few groceries, you can focus on getting a few sales that day and then have the commission waiting for you 3 hours later to use at the grocery store. Other companies I am sure have different plans. Some will be weekly maybe, some bi-weekly, or some monthly. Either way though, it gives you an opportunity to support yourself throughout your degree with something you enjoy doing on your own time, by your own terms.

The naysayers will try to convince you that it is a waste of time, or that it isn’t worth it, but they are wrong. Even if you only have time to work on it super part-time like I did when I was in school, it still allows you to build a following through networking while in school and establish credibility among your friends, family, and peers. Over time that business will grow, and eventually you will have more time to put into it, and it will be worth it to see the result.

Are you a struggling student with a direct sales business already? I would love to hear about how this industry has helped you throughout the duration of your university career! Please share below in the comments :)

Feel free to reach out to me at any time should you have additional questions!

xoxo

Jess

What your support really means to me…

When I first got into direct sales as a Beachbody Coach, I really did sign up to help people only after having seen the proof that the programs and products truly make a difference having experienced it firsthand. I then fell in love with Younique, and I joined that company. I admit, when I started I was going about the business ALL wrong. I was posting constantly, basically just making sales pitches, providing absolutely no value, and using photos of random people and anything and everything I found off the internet. I was young and stupid, treating it as a “get rich quick” option.

I’ve since grown up, and I have come to the realization that these companies are not ways to get rich quickly. In fact, they take a lot of work. I am constantly learning, and making and effort to learn through webinars, podcasts, books, etc. I learned that it is not about the sale, but it is about finding the perfect thing that can make your customers happy. It’s about sharing something that you love, and helping others to enhance their lives in a similar fashion.

Unfortunately though, I know there are still people out there that hate my posts about Younique or Beachbody on Facebook or my other social media outlets. I am sure it has even cost me a few “friends” on Facebook at some point, and to that I say “Good riddance”. Seriously. Why? Because so many people these days are shaming those of us that are putting ourselves out there and  working our asses off to make our dreams a reality. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say “why do you bother, you’ve been at it for a year and you’ve only advanced two times?”, or “you’re not going to make any money that way, so why don’t you just give up and go back to school?”. This is honestly very hurtful, especially when it comes from the people that are supposed to love and support you the most. It takes hard work, dedication, time, and so much more to make your dreams come true, so nobody can expect it to happen instantly.

When I first started with Younique and began collecting commissions on that awesome purple credit card, I was spending it. It wasn’t much in the beginning of course, but it was still exciting none the less. I bought myself some new clothes, I used it to pay for gas, and probably a lot more that I am simply forgetting about now that it has been over a year with the company. Want to know how I spend that commission money now?

I DON’T!

Seriously. I stopped using my Younique credit card for purchases a long time ago. I know a lot of presenters use it, and then they will post “look what my Younique credit card bought me”, which is exactly what I used to do too. It is exciting when you can buy things with money that you earned through your business, and you want to share that as a success. Personally, I have since realized that it serves me better to just save all of my earnings from Younique. When I have accumulated enough, I can then finally pay off my student loan debt from my B.A. That is why it makes me so happy when people purchase from me locally, or they purchase from me online through my website. It excites me because every sale is another customer that will hopefully love the products as much as I do, and every single happy customer gets me one step closer to making my dream a reality and paying off my student loans to finally live debt free.

THAT is what you are supporting when you purchase things from me. Not a drinking habit, a smoking habit, a tattoo obsession, etc. You’re supporting a girl that is trying to save up to pay off her student loans. When you buy from other people in direct sales, in many cases, you are supporting a mom trying to care for her kids, students trying to earn some money to get by, a person trying to support a family member going through treatment for cancer, etc etc etc. I read another blog post recently that totally nailed it, and if you have the time, I definitely recommend you Click Here and take a look.

People need to stop thinking of those of us in direct sales as the enemy, or as something to avoid just because we do network marketing. People seem to think that it is the lazy way to make money, but I can tell you with certainty that if you want to be successful in the network marketing industry you definitely can not get there by being lazy. I even know a person that was SO dead set against supporting someone in direct sales, that she went and purchased a product that I was selling straight from the website to deliberately ensure that she did not support me or anyone else. To me, that is just awful. You’re not supporting a huge corporation or CEO to line their pockets and build another vacation home, you’re supporting a real person that is trying to make an honest living and build a future for themselves. Obviously some people use these opportunities in the wrong way, but there are people that break the rules in every profession, and that does not mean that everyone else should automatically be ruled as unworthy of support because of a few bad examples.

Now I don’t know exactly where my life will take me, I mean, who knows! Maybe I will go back to school in a year or two to further my education. Why does that mean that I have to give up my business though? Can I not continue working on building my future while I am getting an education? I mean I am doing it part time right now already, because I do have a full time job… So my advice to you is this: If you have a loved one that is working in the network marketing business, please do not tell them to quit or tell them that what they are doing is stupid or worthless. I strongly believe that everyone should have a network marketing business on the side, which they can nurture slowly over time. Bit by bit, you could be creating a retirement fund for yourself. You could be creating an education fund to put your children through university, which is something that most kids, like myself, never had. If you are like me and you love to travel, you could be creating your travel fund. The possibilities are endless.

To anyone that has purchased anything through me in the past, or anyone that does so in the future, I just want you to know that I do truly appreciate your support. It is because of you that I haven’t given up, and that I continue to work at making my dreams come true. If you were reading this as the kind of person that avoided network marketers, I hope that this will help you to see that it is truly a great thing to support your friends and loved ones in their business endeavors.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Jess