WHY I HAVE CHOSEN TO JOIN ARBONNE (FROM A SKEPTIC)

Why I Have Chosen To Join Arbonne.

Arbonne? Network marketing? Ummm, no thank you.  

However, as I am sure a lot of you know by now, I have started a little business as an Arbonne Independent Consultant (GASP!).  Don't worry, my blog is not going to turn in to an Arbonne advertisement.  I just thought I would write a post and share my new journey with you and a bit about why I have chosen to join Arbonne (as a skeptic).

Yup, if you had told me I would have been doing this one year ago I would have laughed you out the door.   I would have told you that these companies are a scam, a big waste of time and the products are all cheap and nasty.  I am sure a lot of you think like I did.  

If I am completely honest (which is what I always try and be with you), money is a big reason I have chosen to join Arbonne.  It's not that I see it as a 'get rich quick' scheme or anything like that.  I know that it is going to take hard work and I am fully OK with that.  But, a couple of extra dollars is not going to go unnoticed in our family.  So number one is to help....

Contribute to my family expenses

6 Tips For First Time Dads

These two right here are my main WHY. 

If you have read any other part of For Eva After you will know that nine months ago Josh and I welcomed our little girl Eva in to the world.  She is my unexpected blessing and even though I hadn't envisioned my life the way it is now quite yet I wouldn't have it any other way.  In saying that, I am now a stay at home mum which means we live off one income.  This is no easy task.  (I am preaching to the choir, right?)  What on earth did we do with two incomes?! I could literally not tell you. It is actually amazing what you can live off when you have no other choice.  Don't get me wrong, it could be a whole lot worse.  We have a roof over our head, food in the cupboard and cozy bed to sleep in but, there isn't room in our budget for a heck of a lot of luxuries. 

I hate that I wasn't earning to help provide for our family, I have always been independent so this is a big deal for me. I also know that I want to be home full time with Eva.  This is also very important to me.  Thankfully, with many sacrifices by us both, we have been able to make that work. But, without sounding ungrateful, this just isn't enough for me.  I want to contribute, I want us to build a family home, I want to take Eva around the world and I want those new shoes damn it! Haha.  

Since Eva was born I have been racking my brain, praying and searching for a way to make this happen.  So last month when I went along to an Arbonne party hosted by one of my best friends, Jade, Abbey introduced me to this business opportunity which quite literally ticked all the boxes. I truly see it as a blessing.  My check list was as follows;

  • Stay at home with Eva. TICK
  • Work around my life and family. TICK
  • Generate income with uncapped earning potential. TICK
  • Have my own business (well, sort of). TICK
  • Get paid to buy and use amazing natural makeup and skincare (wasn't actually on my list but it sure is now! haha). TICK

So far so good, am I right? 

If you want to know a little more about the business opportunity and if it could work for you click this link: Arbonne Opportunity Brochure

 

Why I choose to join Arbonne

 

Number two on my list of whys is...

Using natural, good quality products is very important to me.

Over the last few years I have been so put off by using pretty much any skincare product that all I used on my skin was coconut oil.  Yes, I still wore makeup a few times a week which I know is just as bad but, I had not found a suitable alternative so I just put that to the very back of my mind and tried not to think about all those awful toxins soaking in to my body.

At Jade's party I learnt that all Arbonne products are botanically based, not tested on animals, scientifically tested, do not contain any animal products* and do not contain petroleum* (there is a whole list of stuff they do and don't use but we don't need to be here all day).

*Did you know that some companies take dead animals, throw them in to vats and boil them down until all the fat and skin rises to the top and then scrape that off and use it in their skin care as fillers? YUCK.

*Oil companies are not legally allowed to dump petroleum on land or in the sea so they sell it back to cosmetic companies to use as fillers in their products. Petrol on your skin anyone??

These days there are more and more things that are making us sick, giving us cancer and ultimately killing us.  Looking after myself by watching the things I eat, regular exercise and what I use on my skin is really important to me and I love that I can feel safe in the products I am not only selling but am happily using.  I can say wholeheartedly, no matter the earning potential, if this wasn't the case I would not have joined Arbonne.  So, one of my goals with this business is to help and encourage people to start making healthier choices when it comes to the products we use every day.

 

Why I choose to join Arbonne

 

Third and final reason...

I need something that is for me.

I know, I know, I want it all right? I want to be a stay at home mum, change the world and fulfill my ambitious desires. How dare I! haha. I am more than just a mama. I am more than just a partner and I want to do more than just housework. I have passions, a brain and skills and I want to use them.  I will go crazy if I don't have something that is outside the world of motherly and domestic duties.  

I have always dreamed of owning my own business.  I know Arbonne isn't exactly mine but, it is the closet I am going to get right now without having to have tens of thousands of dollars to start one.  It is a business that is already establisheed and start up costs were minimal making it something we were happy to invest in.

It is a way that I am finding the new me and what my new family life is going to look like.  I think us mama's are too hard on ourselves sometimes.  We let the mum guilt creep on in when it so important for us to do things for ourselves as well. We should not feel guilty about having passions, dreams and goals outside of our babies.  With my new adventure, it just so happens that it is a financial income for our family and also lets me work around Eva as well, which is pretty cool.

 

So, there you have it.  A little intro in to my new adventure and why I have decided this is something for me.  I will let you know how it is going in a couple of months.

 

If you would like to support me or have a nosy at some of the products click on the following...

My Facebook Page: Arbonne - Independent Consultant

Website: www.nastasiakelsen.arbonne.com

Email: nastasia.arbonne@outlook.com

 

Until next time.

Nastasia,

xx

6 THINGS I HAVE LEARNT IN THE FIRST MONTH OF BLOGGING

What I have learnt in the first month of blogging - The top 6 lessons.

I had finished full time work and just become a new mum.  Obviously, this task alone is hard enough but no no, I decided this was the perfect time to start a blog.  I knew I needed something that was just for me.  How hard could it possibly be right? I can write a few posts each week (which will obviously gain a ton of followers and make some moolaa instantly), keep the house pristine and be the perfect mum. HA!!  What fairy land was I living in?

I guess if you just want to share stories with your friends and family blogging could totally be really simple and easy.  But, if you are truly wanting to get serious about it and turn it in a business (like I am) it is definitely not as easy as I first thought.  The amount of hours I spent initially researching how to get it set up is crazy enough let alone actually tackling this mammoth task.

But, as many hours as it takes and the one hundred and one things I have learnt and have yet to learn, it is exactly what I need in my new life of being a mummy.  I feel like I have something to say, something that may contribute to someone else's life in a positive way.  I want to do my part in serving the world. My goal is to (hopefully soon) turn it in to a business to help contribute to my family expenses so I can stay at home with my babe, continue to watch her grow and be there as much as I can.

So, what are the 6 things I have learnt in the first month of blogging?

 

1. The first 6 months are make or break (so I have been told)

Just starting out in the world of blogging is seriously a tough gig. I should know, I'm living it. I reading and listening to some of my now favourite successful bloggers, I keep hearing that the first six months are the hardest and you just have to stick it out.  So far they are spot on!

Personally, I didn't know a thing and I am still learning so much every day.  Not only is there all the technical stuff about building your site to learn but then there is everything else, social media, SEO, growing a mailing list, creating opt-ins, the perfect images, and of course writing the content and promoting it etc etc. *One tip I can offer is to find really good scheduling tools and create an editorial calendar.

I am hoping that I will eventually get in to the swing of things and find my own rhythms for everything that needs to be done (which is slowly starting to happen).

Also, it is your duty to get super excited about the small successes!  For me, the first success was actually pressing publish and launching my blog.  The second was getting a few subscribers that weren't my friend or family haha.  These are awesome things YOU have achieved and they deserve recognition.  Even your favourite blogger who has 200k email subscribers started where you are.

 The top 6 things I have learnt in the first month of blogging

 

2. There is such a thing as doing too much research

As I keep saying over and over again there is a heck of a lot to learn when it comes to blogging.  This was completely overwhelming to me when I first dove head first in to this world.  

I Googled, researched and read until I was dreaming blogging. I subscribed to sooo many blogs I thought would help me bit it was extremely overwhelming and made my head spin.  Keeping up with them all was impossible.  I have no ended up unsubscribing to the ones that I found that I didn't read.  This sounds harsh coming from a new blogger but honestly, if I am not reading their content or actively engaging, then I am of no value to them anyway.  That also applies to my readers as well.  Sometimes repelling is a really good thing.

My suggestion would be to find a couple of bloggers to follow that you love.  That have the information you are looking for and that you are going to actively engage with.  Also follow a few for fun.  Remember; business and pleasure. 

My top business blogger: Jenna Kutcher 

My top pleasure blogger: Emily Henderson

Bit of both: The Every Girl

I have really gotten in to podcast.  I find they fit in with my life a lot better then reading blogs.  I put one on when I'm doing the dishes, going to the gym, my daughters bath time etc.  I don't want this to be another 'subscribe overload,' so I am currently sticking to just two.

The Goal Digger Podcast

The top 6 things I have learnt in the first month of blogging - The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher is a great resource.

The Strategy Hour Podcast

The top 6 things I have learnt in the first month of blogging - The Strategy Hour Podcast

Click on the images and they will link you to their sites.  Also available on iTunes.

 

3. Create a schedule

When I first started, each day I would right down a bunch of stuff that I wanted to get done.  

An actual example from my first notebook:

  • Research and understand SEO and Tags
  • Learn how to correctly label photos
  • Find some blogging groups to join
  • Organise Pins in business folder
  • Retake Manuka Biotic photo
  • Research how to prepare images for your blog

Looking back, I only got 3/6 items checked off this list that day. Yes, I had a new baby and a house to look after etc but the one pit fall I was making was that there was no rhyme or reason to my to-do list.  It was just me rambling things off the top of my head.  This was my first mistake.

I now use a wall planner and plan my week in advance.  I designate specific tasks to each day.

Example of what my current week looks like:

Monday: Photos Day
  • Take scheduled photos
  • Lightroom research
  • Lightroom keywords
  • Start editing
Tuesday: Scheduling Day
  • What posts are coming up in the next month? (I have an editorial calendar to look at)
  • Plan social media for each upcoming post
  • Schedule emails for each post
  • Plan and schedule extra social media posts for the week
  • Plan photos for next week
Wednesday & Thursday: Writing Days 
  • Start drafting new posts
Friday: No Work Day
  • Read other blogs and actively engage
  • Actively engage with Facebook groups
  • Emails

Ok, I get this still looks like work but, to me it isn't.  I try and give myself one or two days a week where I just focus on these few little things.  My main focus is spending time with my daughter and Josh (if he is home.... army wife, remember? He is away a lot), while also getting around to any house work that I have neglected.

Saturday: Research Day
  • Post ideas
  • Photo inspiration
  • Possible Girlbosses
  • Possible charities
  • Other projects (these are specific, but I can't share them just yet)

This week, this day may not plan out like this. Josh has a football game in Palmerston North so Eva and I are thinking about going to watch him play.  Also, I usually have a 'Woocommerce Day' as I am currently working on opening a store as an extension to my blog - work in progress.

Sunday: Review Day
  • Review posts scheduled for the week
  • Review emails and social media posts scheduled for the week

As you can see, each day has a purpose and is designated to a specific subject.  I highly recommend creating a schedule like this.  It will help to keep you focused and stop you from bouncing from one topic to the next.  Before I started planning my week like this, it felt like I was constantly working but not really getting anything done.  My brain was a mushy overload and it was actually quite stressful.

I still use a notebook.  I constantly have 'light-bulb' moments of new posts and ideas and I need to get them out of my head to continue focusing on the tasks for the day.  Definitely stop to write them down but, don't let yourself be completely side tracked by it (I know, that is super hard sometimes).

Don't be too hard on yourself if you don't get it all ticked off.  If you are like me and have a wee babe to think about as well as a house and a partner then sometimes the day is just not going to go as planned.  Life happens and that is totally OK.

The top 6 things I have learnt in the first month of blogging

 

4. Designate a work area

One thing I don't currently have, due to our house being so tiny and also a limited budget, is a dedicated work space.  Oh how I would love to have a Pinterest worthy office but, that is just not realistic for us right now.  However, if you do have the space and money to make this happen I would definitely recommend it.  

Right now, I currently work from the couch or the dinning table (mainly the couch as it is too cold in the kitchen).  Pillows prop my laptop and mouse, I have to move everything around if I need to take notes or get up to grab something, I end up with a sore back and generally just feel unorganised and not as productive as I could be.  Also it would be great to be able to walk away from my work without having to pack it all up. Just makes it a mission when you want to pop back to it for a few minutes here and there in-between changing nappies and giggling with a 7 month old.

 

5. This blog does not define me

Continually reminding myself that the success or failure of this blog is not the deciding factor of my worth.  First and foremost I am a mum and that is my priority.  It is so easy to get caught up in this thing.  The possibilities are endless but it is not the end of the world if it doesn't work.  That doesn't mean I am willing to give up it just means that if for some reason I had to or it didn't work out, that's OK. My life will not be over, haha.

 

6. Remembering this is meant to be fun

Remember, this is meant to be fun!  It is not worth getting COMPLETELY stressed about (there is bound to be a little stress).  I mean, if something comes up and you don't get that post out on time, yeah its annoying but who cares?  No one out there is following your EVERY move except you (and maybe your mum).

Have a plan and get serious but, know that it is not the most important thing in life. LIVING is the most important thing in life.  Always keep in the back of your mind why you started your blog to begin with and keep going back to that place.

The top 6 things I have learnt in the first month of blogging

If you are thinking of starting a blog these are some of the things you can expect.  It is hard and involves A LOT of time and effort but it is totally worth it. It is the perfect project for me as a new mum.  

Are you thinking about starting a blog? I would love to know if you found this helpful and if you would be interested in more posts related to blogging. let me know, email me, comment or find me on social media via the icon links on the side bar.

 

Nastasia

XX