I just returned from spending a weekend in Nashville with some amazing Trades of Hope sisters at our annual retreat for training, inspiration and encouragement. It was a great weekend, reconnecting with Compassionate Entrepreneur sisters from around the country that I only get to see once a year, and making new CE friends. And it came at the perfect time, because I joined Trades of Hope 5 years ago last week. FIVE YEARS! I can't believe it. When I joined there were only 150 Compassionate Entrepreneurs in the company, and we just hit 5000! So exciting! To honor these five years, I thought I would give you the top ten wonderful things about being a part of TOH. So in no particular order (because I could never say one was more important than another) here are my top ten!
10. I have grown so much in my social skills and getting out of my comfort zone. I've never been good at speaking to strangers and this has really helped as I've met women at parties, other CEs, and new hostesses. I have traveled to a foreign country, overcoming so many fears in that process. I'm still growing in this area as I learn how to do "live" Facebook videos! Way out of my comfort zone!
9. It gives me a purpose outside of being a mom and wife. I love being those things, and I've had other jobs along the way, but this gives me something that is "mine", it becomes what I put into it. It gives me a reason to get out of the house and travel, and in a house full of boys, I can be girly!
8. Becoming more fashionable! I have never cared a great deal about what I wear, and yet, never felt like I was dressed very cute. But when you have beautiful accessories that you want to wear, it helps you to up your fashion skills! I just started wearing a kimono and I love it! Who knew?
7. I have made extra money that has helped my family. Its been used to go on vacations, pay bills, school fees and pay for lots of baseball! But I've also used it to treat myself.
6. I have learned so much about poverty and trafficking. These aren't topics that people may want to know about, but they are important! These are things that are not ok with my heavenly Father, and He wants His people to step in and help end them!
5.I have gained confidence in myself, the good kind, when you are proud because you set a goal, go after it, and reach it, and where you think you can't do something, but you do! I have had moments when I compared myself to others, I felt that I was failing. But when God taught me to not compare myself to anyone, and to be content with where I was and who I was in Him, it brought such peace and confidence in myself.
4. I have grown in my faith. There have been many conversations with my Father about my business, the struggles, the successes, the questions, the frustrations. And when I ask Him for a boost, He gives it to me! He wants me to help the widows and orphans and the poor, and when I give effort, even if it seems small, He will bless it.
3. I have been inspired by the founders of our company. Joining so early when I did, I have gotten to know the four ladies who founded our company in a way that would never happen if I had joined a larger direct sales company. They are brave, powerful, awe inspiring women, and each year when I see them, and they know my name and hug me, I feel known. And then they speak about what they envision for our company, and I am thankful to follow after them.
2.I have grown in my leadership skills. I have a great team under me, and sometimes I can give more to them than other times, but I know God uses my team to build my leadership skills that I can use in other areas of my life too.
1. I have met amazing, beautiful women from all over the country! I have life long friends that can only come from being in a foreign country together. And I have met so many ladies as hostesses, party goers and other CE's that I would have never met otherwise. I have great ladies that have joined my team over the five years that I can now call friends.
There are probably ten more things I could list, like organizational skills, goal setting, budgeting, etc. But really, the bottom line is, that it has empowered me! I have become a better person because of this journey! And that's what Trades of Hope is all about. We are empowering our artisans around the world by marketing their products, but it empowers us too! I am so thankful that five years ago, I saw a blog post about Trades of Hope, and I took a big step of faith! I've never wanted to sell anything, but when I held my first products, it was a powerful moment. I don't know how long God will keep me with TOH, but I am so thankful for this part of my life journey!