Sisters Doing It for Themselves: A New Era of Business Ownership

By Keeva Stratton



Work-life balance has become a desirable commodity, with women in the workforce often juggling their career, family and relationships. RESCU spoke to three women about the pros and cons of going out on their own.

Currently touring Australia to inspire women with her own success story is Collette Larson, who was able to transform her $8 dollar an hour income into well over 6 figures, working from home.



RESCU: How did you get involved with USANA?

Collette Larson: “I got involved in 1994, two years after USANA was launched in the United States. My youngest daughter was in a medically induced coma and my other daughter was in a downward spiral – both with cystic fibrosis. My brother said, ‘We need to get Sharlie and Lexi on these products’.



That was what brought me into the business; it was my desire to find a product that would positively impact my children. A month later I earned my first $100 cheque and I realised I was in business – I started a home-based business!”



RESCU: How did you balance your family and work commitments?

Collette Larson: “It was crazy in the beginning. I learned to work my business in the nooks and crannies of my life. I would get up a little earlier than my children did. If they were resting, I would make some calls then.



I worked it around my family, because my family was my number one priority but I knew I had to do something to empower me as a woman to care for my children financially. I didn’t want to take out bankruptcy – it took me eight years to get out of debt.”



RESCU: What advice would you give to women considering working from home?

Collette Larson:

Firstly, do your research. I’m with USANA Health Sciences. It’s been around now for about 17 years; there is a scientist at the helm of the company, the credibility is there. It is also a product that people use up every month and need to order again.



Secondly, find a mentor. Find someone who has done what you want to do, so they can coach you along the way and help you avoid the mistakes that they made.”



RESCU: What steps can you take to overcome a fear of failure?

Collette Larson: “There is nothing like a little bit of success to help you overcome failure. It took me four weeks to get my first cheque. I worked very hard; I cried when I received that cheque. My sons tease me now because they say if they worked that hard for a hundred dollars they would cry too.”



RESCU: What tips do you have for running a successful business?

Collette Larson: “The most important thing is – you have to have a ‘why’. There has to be a reason why you are doing this. Whether it is a home-based business or any business, there are going to be up and down days. My why became helping to buy a cure for cystic fibrosis. This disease ultimately took my younger daughter’s life. My why is vivid, it is bright, and it drives me every morning. I believe I can inspire people. I had plenty going against me when I started, and I just had this passion and persistence – single mother, high school education, almost a million dollars in debt, five children, no experience – I think people can see ‘if she can do this, I can do this.’



For more information visit www.usana.com or phone 1800 670 126.



When you think of alternative income sources, AvonTupperware and Nutrimetics are a few that spring to mind. Avon has been encouraging women to find independence through commission sales since 1963 and had the following to say to those considering their model:



RESCU: How would you describe the opportunities available at Avon?

AVON: “Avon presents women an opportunity to start and manage their own business, thus allowing them to have flexibility and financial independence.”



RESCU: How can Avon help women to achieve work-life balance?

AVON: “By managing their own business, women can have work-life balance as they choose the hours they work and the way in which they run their business and how they structure their day.”



RESCU: What advice would you give to women considering working from home?

AVON: “Go for it! It’s a great way to have an income while still being able to run a household and look after children.”



RESCU: What tips do you have for running a successful business?

AVON: “Work hard, and think about what it really is that you what to achieve. Set a goal and work towards that goal. We have seen many Avon Representatives set themselves a tangible goal, and then work to achieve it.



One example that comes to mind is Mary Furlan, Vic. She set herself a goal of buying a BMW and through hard work and her Avon earnings, she was able to pay cash for a new BMW this year! Quite an amazing achievement.”



For more information on how to become an Avon representative visit: www.avon.com.au or call 1800 646 000.



Australian women are also finding fun, creative and interesting ways to turn their passions into an unexpected income source. Having spent several years chained to the office desk, Belinda Griffiths decided to launch Pecka Products, an online store which specialises in novelty items and decorations for Hens Nights and Bachelorette parties.



RESCU: What gave you the idea to start this particular type of company?

Belinda Griffiths: “After having the honour of being bridesmaid on numerous occasions, working full time, and not liking going into the big adult warehouses, wanting something classy and fun to make the events a blast, it was a must-do to create this site so now everyone out there can have a greater novelty item shopping experience.”



RESCU: How has your work-life balance changed?

Belinda Griffiths: “I finally feel like I am getting a life back! Starting your own business is still very challenging and long hours but it is more rewarding as you know that everything you do and every hour you spend on it, you are the one who benefits from it. Everyone’s saying they love the ‘new me’ as they feel I am no longer chained to a desk!”



RESCU: Were you concerned about any negative perceptions from being a female involved with this type of product line?

Belinda Griffiths: “No, because I feel all my products are above board. They are not meant to be offensive, just some fun items to decorate a party and give the bride a memorable last night out before she gets hitched!”



RESCU: Have you had any interesting responses from friends or family?

Belinda Griffiths: “Ha ha, my immediate family has known for a while what I was planning and they have all been really supportive, although my dad does joke ‘is this the outcome of sending my daughter to a private girl’s school!”



RESCU: How popular have Pecka Products been?

Belinda Griffiths: “It’s still early days but it is going very well. Australia alone has over 100,000 weddings a year so there is definitely a market. You will also be surprised at how even the most conservative get a laugh out of a bit of pecka at the hens do!”

To learn more about Belinda’s fun products, visit: www.peckaproducts.com

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