Building a Home-Based Business Without Sacrificing Sanity

I’m a recovering addict.  You’ve probably heard the saying, “I’m not in USANA, USANA is in me.” Well, I was an extreme personification of that concept.  Once I realized what I had my hands on…I became obsessed.  USANA was the first thing I thought about when I opened my eyes each morning and I would stay awake for hours every night strategizing and adding potential partners to my contact lists.  When I finally did fall asleep, I dreamed in circles.  Building my USANA business consumed my time, my energy and dominated my conversations.  I’m afraid I alienated more than a few friends and family members with my single-minded determination to “share the vision…even if I have to beat you over the head with it!” 

This was not necessarily a bad thing.  I’ve long maintained that a fast start in USANA is a good start and I fully understand and support the Pacesetter and Platinum Pacesetter Programs.  Certainly, my entrepreneurial nature (read…necessity to earn enough in commissions to pay for my autoship that very first month) helped lay the foundation for long-term success.  However, when momentum becomes obsession, the likelihood of burnout increases, often long before we can attain the success we desire.

So…how do we find and foster that coveted state of being called balance – especially when we’re so passionate about USANA we can hardly help but be consumed by it?  Here are five strategies I’ve implemented that have helped me gain peace and composure without curbing my enthusiasm.

1. Maintain perspective.  For me, this meant coming to the realization that building my business was not more important than my personal spirituality or my family relationships.  Of course, there are crossover threads in our life tapestries but I’m learning to prioritize:  God first, family second, USANA third.  I personally believe when we get to the other side, we’re more likely to be asked, “Did you love?” than, “How many centers did you max?”  And along these lines, if a prospect tells you his wife will divorce him if he gets involved in another one of these network marketing things…don’t sign him up!

2. Involve your spouse and children.  After all, one of the primary attractions of our industry is the promise of more time with the people we love.  My children were fairly young when I started building my USANA business.  At first, they were my fan club but they soon started helping out wherever they could, including sharing their own product stories at our home meetings.  I was honest about what my goals and intentions were because I needed their understanding and support.  They had a stake in my success and their involvement taught us all a great deal about personal development, financial responsibility and what is possible when we work together as a team.  Fifteen years into this journey I readily admit I wouldn’t be where I am in USANA without them.

3. This is a business.  It sounds so obvious, but it took me a few years (and significant penalties and interest owed to Uncle Sam) to figure it out.  I wasn’t keeping track of my business expenses, I wasn’t setting aside money from my commission checks to pay my taxes, I didn’t have any set
working schedule (other than all day, everyday) and I was operating my business from our kitchen table, the living room couch, from under the covers on my bed…you get my drift.  I didn’t even have a separate business bank account or designated business phone line.  Now I know better.  I actually have an office in my home and I keep fairly regular business hours.  I pay my estimated taxes quarterly – what a concept! – and I keep detailed records of my business expenditures.  Of course, I’m open to spontaneous flights of fancy and unscheduled visits from grandchildren but if my office door is closed…everyone knows I’m off limits.  By scheduling the hours I conduct business, I’ve finally found that elusive time freedom I’ve been talking about all these years.

4. Expand your interests.  Getting involved in activities and causes outside USANA is a very good way to recharge physically and emotionally while continuing to build relationships that expand our warm markets.  Staying active through exercise helps reduce stress and opens our minds to endless ideas and possibilities.  Date nights with your spouse or socializing with friends or other family members helps maintain a healthy balance between business and personal life.  My husband and I schedule one day a week together with the intention of simply having a lot of fun.  Our alone time has enhanced our relationship and interestingly, I believe that time away from my office has also contributed to my business success.

5. Reap the benefits of boredom.  This has been a tough one for me because somewhere along the line I programmed a belief system into my psyche:  busyness = productivity and productivity = success.  Why, why, why do I still – at 56 years of age – write items down on my “to do” list even after I’ve done them just so I can cross them off? Why, when I should be relaxing in a comfortable chair as I’m getting my hair done do I whip out my cell phone or my planner? Is it really necessary to fold the clothes while I’m watching TV in order to assuage the guilt I feel for turning the TV on in the first place?  Can you relate?  We’re entrepreneurs, doers.  Downtime is a tough assignment for us.  Too often I catch myself in an over-stimulated frantic rush, jumping from task to multi-task.  Thank goodness for Sanoviv – my calm in the middle of the storm!  The life lessons I’m learning on each visit to this healing sanctuary are beginning to sink in and I’m bringing those practices home.  I’m finally learning to simply sit.  To relax.  To breathe.  To just be present.  It feels so good, tingly even, to disconnect from all the technology in my life, sit on the swing on my front porch, close my eyes and listen.  Thoughts still come unbidden, but during my meditation classes at Sanoviv I learned to thank them and release them, knowing I’ll visit those thoughts and ideas later. I’ve heard that creativity is one of the sweet fruits of boredom and as a loving gift I’ve given myself permission (twenty minutes a day, that’s all I ask) to be beautifully, wonderfully, deliciously bored. 

Collette Larsen

USANA’s Top Earner and 10-Star Diamond Director

(800) 238-9679

4 comments… add one
  • Business For Sale

    Thanks for the guide….

  • Steve Netherby

    This is a great blog, Collette. I agree that balance in our life contributes to happiness, health, and the ability to lead a long, physically active life. However, on balance, I do much admire the business success your unbalanced USANA-addicted lifestyle brought you. At the same time, to balance further (yes, I'm a Libra), I'm happy you've lately been able to inject more balance into your life so you can fully enjoy the much-deserved fruits of your marvelous addiction. Bottom line: Great blog, Collette. ;>)

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