Yesterday, I introduced you to RPO. Did you recognize it in yourself? If so, good. Perhaps I awoke something in you that you weren’t sure how to label.
My uphill battle started when I was a sophomore at Northern Illinois University, at the age of 20. I was still the dreaded ‘Undecided’, and had absolutely no desire to go in any particular direction. I was so burnt out from school, from the years of honors classes and ‘special treatment’ because I was smart, that I just did not care to keep going. I had refused to take out loans for school, which at least was smart foresight on my part, judging by the skyrocketing debt of students now. We are still paying off a $10k loan for my husband, from 11 years ago, and he didn’t even finish school. Sad.
When they wanted me to ‘declare myself’, I said no. I said I was done. I still had no direction to head in, and I absolutely would not put myself and my parents into further debt by taking on loans for an aimless path. About the same time, my grandma had fallen ill with breast cancer, and was moving in with my parents. I decided it would be best to move back home and be close to her, and help them with care. My husband (fiance at the time) also dropped out of school (in his third year…looking back, knowing him now, why in the WORLD did he ever decide to do computer science as his major??? Likely because computers were an emerging thing still back then, lots of promise), and we moved in with my parents.
Before all that happened, though, and I was fresh off the realization that I didn’t want to get a degree, and spend my life pursuing one path, I started searching. It was the birth of my RPO energy. I was RPO that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but that I thought I’d have to spend it doing something tedious and not worth my time.
I kept my eye out. College is a good place to ‘stumble’ upon people that are offering young, hopeful people a ‘new’ way. Let’s just be real and say what it is: preying on them.
I actually cannot tell you what I searched for, and how I did it, nor can I tell you who gave me what I ended up starting (for the sake of not being sued, we’ll just call it H___alife). I have absolutely no recollection of agreeing to become a distributor, nor do I really recall how much it cost me (likely $150 or so, at the time, which was like all my waitressing tips for the week). All I remember about it, is that I got a box, with a few bottles of vitamins, a protein shake, a shaker cup, and some ‘business material’.
For the record: I despise swallowing vitamins. So, that was my first problem.
My second problem, besides the contents of that box, is that I had no person that came with the box. No one to show me how to succeed. No one to build my confidence and explain what the products did, why they were good, and what the company was about. Sure, I could go on the website (at the time…definitely not what we would now consider standard for a company website) to ‘learn more’, or buy product materials, but that is not how I operate. Give me a person that has done it, and done it well, and I want them to lay it out for me, step by step, on how to succeed.
I didn’t have that. Was it any surprise that I failed, and failed miserably? I think I tried for about 5 seconds with my first ‘at-home business’. I can’t even say that I sold a single item, or talked to a single friend about it. I wasn’t excited, which would be exactly why I failed. I’m someone that just can’t fake belief in something. If I believe in it, oh, you know it. But if I don’t…well…my failure chance balloons.
There I was, with a box full of stuff, swallowing pills that I hated and didn’t change how I felt one iota, and an irritated fiance, because I’m pretty sure that I just ‘did it’, whether he said yes or not. Moving back to Mom and Dad’s came shortly after, and I pretty much just let my ‘business’ drift away.
Most people would have let that stop them. They would have said, well, guess there really isn’t a ‘different’ way, I’ll just have to go work.
I’m not most people. Tomorrow will show what was next for me. The Turkey Train had left the station, and had only just begun my path of misadventure.