Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Why I'm Suddenly Selling Rodan+Fields

It all started in a 5,000 Watt radio station in Fresno, California ...

(If you can tell me where that quote comes from, I'll send you a free lip balm ... NO CHEATING [aka NO GOOGLE]! Bonus if you're under the age of 40.)

As a brand new Rodan+Fields consultant, I have been told to come up with my "why," meaning the reason I chose to sell skincare. The idea is to get to the root and connect with others over what drove me to direct sales.

When I sat down and thought about it, my "why" really does take me way back, though it's not to a 5,000 Watt radio station in Fresno, it's to a Major League Baseball stadium in Detroit. In a twist of fate, the beginning of my story actually begins in 1999 in the place I met my current Rodan+Fields partner, Heidi. In fact, I don't think we've seen each other in person since the end of that season that marked the end of the Tiger Stadium era.

I was actually 17 years old in 1999 with a passion for baseball. I desperately wanted a career in sports, so -- being the insane go-getter I am -- I called the front office looking to job shadow someone in the field as part of a high school college prep course. I met Mary Lenhert, who so graciously gave me a tour of Tiger Stadium. My strength and passion was writing, but I didn't want to be an antagonist of the team, I wanted to be part of the team, so my mindset was to find a field in which I could do both.

Me and Heidi, circa 1999, at Tiger Stadium.
When I saw the colorful desks of the PR department, I decided that was for me. From that point on, I would be a public relations major with an eye toward working in Major League Baseball. I was also given a job in the guest services department, which was awesome considering it was the final season at Michigan and Trumbull.

Despite being chronically-angry and somewhat naive senior in high school, I had a blast that season. Heidi in particular was wonderful. She was so genuine despite the fact that I was probably an incredibly irritating individual and, come to find out 15 years later, she is still that way. I'm sure that played a huge part in edging me toward taking this plunge, but I digress.

I still remember my high school teacher asking me to come to the front of the class after our job shadowing assignments were handed back. She said, "You know, if anyone out there can succeed, it's you." I never forgot that. It really is incredible how small statements can be so impacting. We never know whether what we're saying will stick with someone forever.

College and Beyond

I had decided I was going to be a public relations major and that's what I did. I continued to work in guest services for the Detroit Tigers while I went to school, constantly pestering the Human Resources director (sorry, Lara) for an internship. My persistence probably solidified the fact that I wasn't going to get it, or maybe it was the attitude that has ultimately made me a great entrepreneur and leader, but that often rubs certain personalities the wrong way.

To say I don't have a problem with authority is true, but with authority must come respect. Those who allow themselves to see my strong and genuine personality for what it is tend to love me. Those who don't tend to think I'm a huge pain in the ass. I can't really fault them, I'm pretty polarizing. You either love me or you hate me -- there doesn't tend to be an in between. But in reading this lovely banter, can you even fathom how anyone would hate me? Seriously, I'm a delight.

I had a lot of fun with this job and got to do
some pretty amazing things. Here, I'm interviewing
Matthew Stafford the day after we drafted him
No. 1 overall in 2009.
While I didn't get my big break into professional sports through an internship with the Tigers, I did get it through a friend I made while working with the Tigers. My friend Robb chose to take a job with the Detroit Lions when they moved to Ford Field in Detroit and gave a glowing recommendation to the digital media department (then called "new media") of me for an internship.

To make a long story short, I got the internship and then a full-time job one year later. I was the New Media department.

I did everything for the website, which was a blessing and a curse. Having completely responsibility for something so vast means I was able to learn and grow and make it my own. I wrote nearly all of the content, took the majority of the photos (many players thought I was the team photographer), facilitated site development, and worked with the League office. Life was good.

Approximately three years into my job, I hit my stride. I had developed professional confidence in terms of conducting interviews, football knowledge, writing, and editing. My genuine personality allowed me to connect with players and coaches and I took great pride in writing quality football content.

It's what I do.

To break down my entire almost-decade-long career with the Lions would take awhile, but by the time I left, I had integrated all social media, created my own public persona to engage the fans, and was overseeing two writers -- one full time and one (legendary) freelancer. But, alas, it was time to go.

My New Endeavor

I ultimately chose to leave because I had hit my ceiling with the team and, to be honest, my passion wasn't necessarily digital media. Yes, I love so many things about digital media (I have a Type A brain that loves coding), but my true passions remained writing and relationships.

Packing Thanksgiving meals with
P Sam Martin and LB Tahir Whitehead.
I decided to start a public relations company (Apprize PR) that would work with professional athletes and their charitable initiatives, post-football networking, and media opportunities. My best friend and partner in crime, Tara, opted to join me. We should really create superhero personas.

Our first year was all about networking. We signed linebacker Tahir Whitehead who became a starter after Stephen Tulloch suffered an injury. We loved working with him, forging relationships with the Detroit Public School League (Tahir is fantastic with young people and is passionate about education), the Downtown Boxing Club Youth Organization, and Lady Jane's Haircuts For Men, another client of ours.

We also had the pleasure of working with Herman Moore, his wife Angela -- a personal trainer -- and Gavin Smith, the Lions team photographer.

Looking at our business in its current form is so exciting. We are on the cusp of a lot of great things, hoping to sign on more players and continue working with our current clients. Life is good.

The Crux of My "Why"

Yes, life is good. In addition to good business, I am a wife and mother to three wonderful children, ages four, almost three and nine weeks. The problem is, however, that being in business for myself doesn't necessarily bring in a consistent monetary flow. Droughts will happen followed by a big boom. Unfortunately for me, my family demands require me to have money coming in steadily. What to do?

That's when I saw Heidi's posts on Facebook. She would talk about having four kids and having the ability to stay home with them because of this work with Rodan+Fields. So here I was, not wanting to give up on my dream of working with professional athletes, but still needing to bring in a steady income. Maybe this would be the answer.

As of right now, I'm at the very beginning of my journey with the company, but -- as you can probably tell by reading this -- I embrace challenges. When I'm passionate about something, I preach it, and I've become passionate about these products. Just as I preach DDPYoga, which has allowed me to get into amazing shape and will help me get back into amazing shape, I will preach Rodan+Fields.

Signing on to be a regular customer or a partner of mine will not only help you get great skin or earn some extra money, it will help me continue pursuit of my own PR company. I plan on being a huge success, so contributing to my efforts will allow you to boast that you helped me get to the top.

So, there is my "why." I hope you've enjoyed the story and, if you want to become a partner or a regular customer of mine to contribute to my PR dreams, I hope you'll ask me for more information in the comments or email!