Our Military Mom Spotlight this week is Jessie “Danielle” Smith. She has spent 20+ years as an Active Duty Air Force gal! Danielle has been retired for a year now but is not slowing down. She has five children and is running a very successful business with Rodan + Fields.
One of the many reasons I began this area on my blog was to highlight women who are working from home and making an income that can help the family finances. Many times, $500-$1,000 extra a week could be the difference of taking a vacation or not, putting kids in private school or not or keeping the family out of bankruptcy or not. What I didn’t know would happen is that I have gotten to know some powerful women who have inspired me during the interview process.
Danielle shared with me her biggest joy of being Active Duty was serving her country and making the family connections she would never have had before. Traveling the world and watching her children blossom into their own people have been equally satisfying.
Family and being able to stay home and make an income
Danielle and her husband are a blended family with one small child who begins 2nd grade this year, two teenage sons who recently graduated from high school and will start college this fall, another son who is a junior in college and a daughter taking the wings of mom and joined the military. When Danielle began her Rodan + Fields business it was for a couple of reasons, but primarily to help with the income she would be losing when she retired. Most people who aren’t military don’t understand the retirement pay is nothing you can actually live on. It’s a great supplement, but a very high percentage of military retirees go on to work another 20+ years in another job to support their family.
Before she retired she kept watching a friend who was not only successful in her corporate job, but also in her Rodan + Fields business. After watching her for a while, Danielle began doing her own research and then asked her friend some questions. She made the decision to start her own Rodan + Fields business 7 months prior to her retirement. She knew she needed an income source after retiring, but because of some health issues to include PTSD and panic attacks, she needed something she could do from home. This seemed like a perfect fit for her and her family! What she didn’t anticipate was that only one week after beginning her business she would end up in the hospital with a Pulmonary Embolism. This was a serious medical condition that is life-threatening and had she not had the team leader she did, her business may have never gotten off the ground. It did get off the ground as she listened to her leader who shared a great social media platform that offered various daily and weekly postings. Danielle never realized that during her hospital stay and recuperation at home, she was gaining business traction and new customers.
From a structured military environment to owning your own business
As an active duty female, Danielle struggled to be in a man’s world and making female friends who were not military because many times they didn’t have a great deal in common. She was blessed to be successful in her job and making new friends, as God always provided exactly what she needed at the time she needed it. She knew what the challenge would be like switching from being in the structured military surrounding to actually having to run her own business and be her own boss. She never realized how much of a difference there would be or even how much the skills she learned in management from the military would apply to her at-home business.
Her husband wasn’t thrilled initially when she began her new skin care business, but it didn’t take her long to make her new business income that he saw as substantial. Remember, the extra $500-$1,000 I mentioned above, well within seven months, she was at the high end of this scale with her new at-home business venture. As a top notch Senior NCO, she never dreamed her new at-home business would begin paying for her products, then go on to pay their families cell phone bill and then pay off their car three months early. This was a huge blessing since their income was initially expected to be cut with her retirement.
A vision board with God centered daily
I asked Danielle what she considered to be a huge part of her success with her business working from home and she said she prays every day. She not only prays for herself and her family, she prays for her team. “This business is not about me, it’s about the changes and growth your life can take with this business!” Danielle was told many of the same things I was when I shared some of my background and experiences, which is write a book or develop a blog as you have a story to tell. She loves her family and knows she would not be the person she is today or the business leader she is today without them. Her business has allowed her not to stress out about money anymore and has enabled them to take 4 vacations since she retired with two more in the plans before the year is out! They are grateful to live in Florida with her in-laws close by and tend to make their vacations in Orlando with visits to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.
I must say the pleasure of meeting Danielle and sharing her story has been heartfelt! She shared with me her incredible vision board that starts with a cross at the top. Everything in her life centers on God, and she wants to begin and end her day Him. Her favorite quote is also on her vision board “Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid NOT TO TRY.”
If you would like to get ahold of Danielle for any Rodan + Fields questions, you can reach her at [email protected].