Are You Faking Normal?

I am 57, lost my Director of Technology job at a non-profit when I was 42, didn’t want to go back to work full time since my 2 boys were only 8 and 4, & I thought my husband could carry us through. WRONG! Not because he was incapable, but who in their right mind puts that kind of responsibility on their spouse anyway? It’s 15 years later and I’m realizing that I was that person who wasn’t in her right mind then. Thank goodness I woke up and realized it before it’s really too late.

Let me just take you into my thought process (and where I was in my life) for a minute. I did what I was supposed to do. I figured out what I wanted to do with my life and got a Masters degree in Information Science (this was 7 years after graduating from college without a clue what to do with my life). I met my husband at the end of my program and moved to Houston, TX to be with him. We were married 8 months later, after losing my father to cancer, and I started my career as a network administrator/systems engineer for EDS (Electronic Data Systems owned by Ross Perot) and then went to work for Brown & Root (a Halliburton company) as a Network Administrator. I loved that job but Houston…not so much. I had lost my father and was reeling from that, moved to a city to be with a man that I hardly knew, and wasn’t fond of living there. The weather was enough to scare anyone away, but the thought of living so far away from my family (we had none in Houston) didn’t really sit well with me. So, 2 years after moving there, I was able to talk my husband into moving back home to Pittsburgh when I was 7 months pregnant with our first son.

All was wonderful. My husband stayed with the same company he had been with in Houston, selling life insurance and disability, and I was home with my mother right by my side. I had plans to work after the baby was born, until my husband got his feet on the ground. I never asked him to give up most of his clients in Houston. My vision was that he would travel whenever necessary and he wouldn’t give up anything. His feeling was that if he couldn’t be face to face with people, he couldn’t effectively work with them. That may be true to a point, but he wasn’t (and still isn’t) into the technological advances that would have helped him do that. So, he went to work trying to make a new life for us in Pittsburgh. He started calling all of the 100 people my mother wrote down for him to call only to discover that Pittsburghers are very loyal (and not only to their sports teams). Most of those people were already set with their life insurance agents and didn’t want to meet with him. He started getting frustrated and I started to realize that perhaps this wasn’t my best idea ever. So, 2 years after moving back to Pittsburgh and buying our first home as a family, I said that I would move back to Houston if he wanted, but he said that he didn’t want to move again. His choice, right?!

I kept working. We had our second son. I lost my job. My husband wasn’t producing enough. We borrowed against our whole life cash values until we couldn’t anymore. Our kids went to college. Life got more expensive. Starting to get the picture?

The thought of going back to work full time really didn’t appeal to me but I had to do something. So, I decided to find a way to work from home and I scoured the internet looking for the right opportunity. One day, I got a call from a very nice woman who got my information from a lead form that I had filled out online. She was such a nice person and the health and wellness company that she was with sounded interesting so I signed up. It was (and is) a great company and I love their products, but I wasn’t passionate about selling them. I just wanted to use them and I didn’t really care what other people bought. But, I met some women at a local meeting for that company and really wished I was on their team. I had nothing against my mentor in Florida but it was nice to have people locally. Soon after I stopped selling for that network marketing company, my friends that I had met here quit too and went to work with another network marketing company. This one is a greeting card and gift business and when I heard that they had become distributors, I signed up before they could finish their sentence. I was starting to see some success with that company but, one day, my whole team quit. It was a real slap in the face and I didn’t know what to do until I remembered that there was a distributor who lived in California who had built her whole business online. So, I started learning her methods to find people online (primarily Facebook). What I found, though, is a whole new world of internet marketing.

Specifically, affiliate marketing, which appealed to me because it doesn’t depend on a team to succeed. Yes, I make a little bit of income from my customer’s sales, but it’s mostly based on what I do. Affiliate marketing is the art and science of selling other people’s products and making a commission. It’s great because you don’t have to have your own products to succeed. I don’t have to worry anymore about what happens when my team quits. I don’t have to do home parties and my home based business is truly done from home. I network and market 100% on social media (primarily Facebook).

Before I talk about how to find the best affiliate marketing product/company, I wanted to show you this video. It’s a TED Talk done by Elizabeth White and the title of it is self explanatory. My message with this entire blog post is that I may be 57 but I may have 35-40 more years to live and I’m going to make the most of those years. It’s never too late to rewrite your future!

I spent a couple years trying different programs. There are so many out there and if you have tons of time, you could sign up for a few of them. Just Google “best affiliate marketing programs”. My best piece of advice though, is to pick one that has a system of “done for you” products that you can leverage in your marketing. With the right system, you’ll never have to create anything from scratch (unless you want to) and the beauty of affiliate marketing is that company (ies) that you sell for take care of all the customer service and invoicing. Your job is merely to send leads through your affiliate links to the products you’re selling.

High ticket affiliate programs pay the best. They require a bigger investment but the ROI is bigger as well. If you’re ready to put the work in to making your online business a success, then you need to weigh your options carefully. You should pick a system that provides training and personal coaching for you like this one.

Since I found this system, I can now look forward to the retirement that I’ve always dreamed of. It feels good to not feel like I’m faking normal anymore.

Till next time,

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