I was recently interviewed for the doTERRA Leadership Magazine (will be published March 2018...funnnnnn!). If you have a goal of building a Diamond (and/or beyond) business with doTERRA OR you're intrigued about my business and what my path has looked like as a complete new entrepreneur (with zero industry experience or existing network) through to the rank of doTERRA Blue Diamond, then read on sister.....Q + A below......
How were you first introduced to dōTERRA? I was managing part of a global yoga apparel brand and kept hearing from our yoga community the word “doTERRA”. We had a diffuser in our store with oils diffusing every day and I kept noticing more and more people asking if the oils we were using were doTERRA ones. They weren’t and my curiosity was sparked with the continuous mention of doTERRA.
What was your first impression of dōTERRA and essential oils in general? I loved the simple branding of the bottles of oil and the beautiful videos I found online about doTERRA’s oils. When I received my first kit of oils and supplements and after only a few months, I struggled to think about what I’d do without them in my life. I’d love to say we implemented them seamlessly into our home but there were a few fails, like me trying to dilute wild orange with water to give my husband a neck massage (rookie error) and using Past Tense a little too close to my eyes. It was trial and error and failure but I fell in love with the little amber bottles.
Were you familiar with the direct sales industry prior to being introduced to dōTERRA? At the time I discovered doTERRA, I was working with a woman who was with another network marketing company. She’d been speaking with me about the interesting leadership and personal development aspects of the industry which interested me and was my first insight into direct sales. The product she was working with wasn’t aligned with me so it was never on my radar to go with that company, but those conversations sparked a curiosity for me about the possibility of a new kind of network marketing (authentic, aligned, purposeful) and I knew if I discovered a product I was really passionate about and genuinely wanted to share with others, then network marketing would be an incredibly powerful business model.
What were your feelings towards direct sales? Before I came across doTERRA, I felt all the usual feelings about direct sales. It gave me a slight “ick” feeling in my stomach because of the ways I’d been approached to join “opportunities” in the past. When I read about doTERRA and watched some videos of the company’s vision and the Founders on youtube I could feel something was different. I felt a strong alignment with the company and the oils themselves so the fact that doTERRA was a direct sales company felt like an incredible gift of an opportunity to me.
Did your previous careers, whether in the industry or without, in any way prepare you for building a dōTERRA business? Definitely. I’ve seen how all of my previous careers helped shape me to lead a doTERRA business and team. The corporate role which was full of hierarchy and inflexibility and didn’t create a positive culture for customers or employees showed me that the traditional model of employment wasn’t for me and got me searching for a “better way”. The business I created (I designed sports swimwear for a period of time) helped shape me as an entrepreneur and taught me incredible lessons about the importance of creativity, owning my own business and moving forward after failure. My management role at a billion dollar yoga apparel company taught me the importance of leadership and personal development, of community and culture. I also learnt in that time with that role (reading Shaun Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage) that successful teams are built on the foundation of happiness. Happiness leads to success. And when we model that for ourselves, our families and our teams, success follows in so many ways.
Were you fully on board with the business aspect or were you a product user first? I was a big yes to the business from day one. Before my oils had even arrived, I’d read a few books on authentic network marketing and watched all of doTERRAs product videos on YouTube and I knew it was the right path for me. I didn’t know what i was doing at all in my business in the beginning, but I absolutely knew I was being pulled to this business for a reason.
What made you consider dōTERRA as a viable business opportunity? I’d love to say that I fully understood the compensation plan benefits and I spent hours researching essential oils medical journals, but really, it was an intuitive feeling that this was what I was meant to do. Of course I still did my research of doTERRA as a company and I still made sure it was a legitimate business opportunity and the products worked (which I knew they would because my Mum had used essential oils with us for 20 years). But the thing that made me reach out to a woman on the internet who I'd never even met before was purely a FEELING.
When did you decide to become a dōTERRA Wellness Advocate and why? I was going on maternity leave early (at 7-months pregnant) and wanted to use that time to build something long-term for myself and my family. Due to where we were at with our finances and my husband continuing his Honours education, I had to return to work after our first daughter was born, when she was only 6 months old. I was determined to not have to repeat that heartbreak again. So I had the intention of really using that time to start my doTERRA business. And yes, that’s a seemingly inconvenient time to be pursuing a passion business, except that when the pull is so strong you can’t ignore it, it’s actually the perfect time.
I started with doTERRA for the simple fact that the oils were a beautiful, natural product that I was aligned to, and that was it. I had no idea whether I could really make this a beautiful successful business or not to begin with.
Why would you recommend the dōTERRA business opportunity to others? Being on this journey with doTERRA (and with your tribe), allows you to live freely, to lead yourself and others, and to give back in a big way. Most of all, it allows you to create abundance for your family; an abundance of money, freedom, flexibility, and time spent with your most loved people. I haven’t yet met a person who doesn’t desire those things.
What advice would you give to those who are just starting their new business? How are YOU here to live and to lead? You can follow the incredibly simple and effective doTERRA business guides for the roadmap to Diamond but the not-so-secret magic here is pairing that up with being completely unapologetically yourself in how you show up in your life. When I started my business I copied the words of my leaders because I hadn’t figured out yet that my own words mattered more than perfect ones. I tried to teach and build the way my Diamond upline was building because I thought that was the only way I could be successful. There wasn’t a specific lightbulb moment when I started to realise that this was BS. It just happened gradually over time. I began to speak in my own voice online, I attracted women to my tribe as customers and builders who saw me sharing my story on facebook and instagram without teaching classes, and I just kept doing the things that weren’t necessarily what anyone else was doing, but just felt right. The biggest of those to date is our adventure we’re on now. We’re on a 6 month adventure together as a fam; 3 months in Bali, a little roadtrip in California and then 3 months or more in Canada. I don’t know any other leader doing this but for us it feels right (and amazing). I mentor my tribe completely online (zoom + facebook), I educate my essential oil customers and potential customers completely through facebook groups, I share the business opportunity purely with how we live (I may create a webinar or something at some stage, but honestly I find it attracts people to ask me about my business more when I’m just sharing our family, our life and our story…..whether that was back at home when I had a newborn and a 19 month old and I was beginning my business….just as much as now that we’re traveling the world as a fam). How are YOU here to live? To lead? In the words of Oscar Wilde: Just be yourself…..everyone else is taken.
A new business venture can be taxing; who is in your support system? (This could be family, friends, upline, downline, etc.)
The people right at the centre of my inner circle are my husband (Tristan) and two daughters (Quinn 4, and Mackenzie 2). My other lady loves who are my go-to support are my immediate upline in Canada and my main frontline leaders.
Why are they your chosen support system?
My tight inner circle (husband + daughters) ground me like nothing else. They don’t care if I’ve created a training program or enrolled anyone. They just care if I’m present with them so they’re my compass of whether I’m showing up intentionally in both my life and business.
My main biz leaders and immediate upline mentor are my biz sisters and my chosen tribe. And the connection, conversation and hilarious Voxxer voice messages between us all keeps happiness + lightness as the main priority. These women are my friends and sisters for life.
I’ve also recently hired an AMAZING Assistant which I’m so excited about as begin to delegate tasks that aren’t my strengths and focus more of my time working with my strengths and also being present with my family.
Do they in any way contribute to the building of your business? This business model can't be done alone....our businesses are co-created with our teams. So absolutely, they have contributed to building this business. We all rise together.
What are their strengths and why do they push you to be better? My husband, my daughters and my main leaders all have such incredibly different strengths to each other. My husband brings a different perspective to a mentoring situation with his great listening, empathy and perceptiveness. My frontline, who are all so different and unique in their own strengths, bring different qualities like determination, focus, strategy, ideas, communication, harmony and community-building. Together we share resources, ideas and work collaboratively.
Does your spouse support you or take part in building the dōTERRA business? doTERRA has always been solely my business. My husband is a practicing Psychologist and gets incredible fulfillment from his work and helping others in his own strengths (he’s also amazing at what he does). But even though he doesn’t DO doTERRA with me, his support has been such a gift in me being able to build this business. When I wasn’t earning any money, he solely paid the mortgage payments and bills so that I could re-invest the (very) small income back into my business (including traveling to attend every Convention and Leadership Retreat). He supported me even when he thought it was insane for us to travel to my first Convention from Australia to Utah with a newborn and a 17 month old (I booked my convention ticket when I was an Executive and was Premier by the time we landed in Salt Lake City for Convention). We’ve continually worked on and refined what it means to show up in partnership to raise our little girls, for me to have hours or days to fulfill my purpose in my doTERRA work, for him to have mornings surfing, for us to have time together as a family.
Were they always onboard or did it take some convincing? Ha. My husband needed a LOT of convincing (if you want the full take on his side of the story here’s a great blog he wrote on my website: http://www.aliceabba.com/blog/2017/9/17/surviving-your-partners-network-marketing-business-a-skeptical-husbands-perspective).
But the short story is that my husband had a lot of negative perceptions around network marketing to begin with and skepticism about the oils. He did his research and due diligence around the compensation plan and the oils and tried his hardest to find something to pull apart, with no luck. Despite his own use of the oils (his fave go-to for everything is Melaleuca), the major turning point for him in his belief in this business was seeing my business grow. Each rank built his belief. So if you have a partner that isn’t totally onboard, the best thing you can do is to just keep growing.
If you currently work together with your spouse in the business, how do you work together and divide roles? We don’t work together, but Tristan helps out by supporting me with some bookkeeping and communicating with my accountant.
How do your children feel about the products? In a nutshell, they LOVE them. They’re particularly obsessed with the doTERRA Touch oils, A-Z Supplements and the Kids Probiotics Sachets.
Do they use them regularly? Every single day.
Do you think they’ll grow up and join you? I hope that they grow up to know that they can choose anything for themselves and that they’ll make the most impact in the world by following the path that sings loudest for them.
Are they already sharing the products? At 2 and 4 not really. Ha. But they do identify any and every chance to whip out the Lavender Touch and put it on people they think need it which is a beautiful thing to witness them growing into.
How do you balance working your business and taking care of your family? I’ve stopped using the word balance because for me what feels right for myself and my family is constantly shifting. I know that I’m showing up as my best self when my husband and I are in constant conversation about what we need individually so that we can fully enjoy the time we then have together as a family.
What tactic have you found most effective when sharing the products with others? I have no tactics, honestly. I purely share the oils and the business when it comes up. I always have my oils on me and so I naturally whip one out if and when someone needs one and the oils themselves tend to them create conversation. As for the business, I always make friends with people I meet for the first time on facebook. This isn’t strategic at all - I just love making new friends! But generally those new friends will, at some stage, see me sharing my lifestyle on social media and ask the questions “how are you able to stay at home with your girls?” or “does that business REALLY make money?” and we just chat from there.
When and how should you follow up after sharing a product? I tend to touch base with people I’ve chatted oils with once a month in either a personal little note asking them a specific questions about their lives (how are your little ones going with being back at school?) or a monthly email newsletter. I try not to bombard them but make sure they’re linked in with my oils education facebook page to be regularly be connecting with me that way and having oils education trickled into their life.
What’s your Why (the reason you build your doTERRA business)? My WHY is my family vision that we’ve crafted together about how we want to spend our days. My WHY is what my BEST DAY EVER looks (and living that NOW....not waiting for the future) and feels like. My WHY is making sure my parents are taken care of in every way as they head into retirement age. My WHY is remembering the value of time and creating a business and life where I can truly show up with and for my favourite people. And my WHY is sharing all of this (and the possibility of what life can truly look and feel like) with others so they can have all of this (and more) too.
For most Wellness Advocates the products are easy to share; it’s the business aspect that is difficult. How would you suggest Wellness Advocates approach sharing the business? I’m the opposite to the majority. I knew I wanted to build a doTERRA business straight away before I even received my first bundle of oils. Of course it took me a few months after I received those oils to fully understand the reasons I was drawn to doTERRA (both the oils and the business) but because of how I started I’ve never held back from sharing the business. With that said, my approach is incredibly gentle. I don’t “prospect” people or follow a strategy. I create connections with new friends (mums at the park while my little ones are playing, people in a cafe who are interesting to talk to, people I connect with online on instagram and get to know through social media. Or I simply send messages out to ex-colleagues and friends who I know would be aligned with the oils and the business. I’m incredibly authentic and just myself.
One wise person said to me once “bring your friends along on the journey with you as early as possible. You don’t want to have all this incredible time freedom and then not be able to hang out with them”. I look at my team now and it’s filled with friends who I’ve known for years and people who’ve now become my incredibly close friends thanks to this business.
When I take a look at my tribe, I see women who will this year be earning 6 figure incomes, full time incomes, part time incomes…..all while they birth new babies, work full-time, care for their growing families, travel the world and experience fulfillment and freedom. Keep that in mind when you’re speaking with your oil customers, potential customers, friends and fam. And know that you’re offering all that possibility and more when you simply ask people to decide which pathway best suits them (live, share or build). And then just simply let them decide.
What do you think are the key benefits of the compensation plan that should be highlighted when sharing the business? Ha! This is NOT my zone of genius. The comp plan is complex so diving into the details for me doesn't come naturally. However, I DO know from my own personal experience that it pays generously (and there's no discrimination in pay rates ;-) ).
What sets the dōTERRA business opportunity apart from other direct sales companies Integrity. Vision. A product that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the world can benefit from. Full stop.
What motivates you to continue building your business? Two things. First up, my deep deep fulfillment in what I do. We have been exposed to a culture where people feel drained, exhausted and depleted from work so they crave breaks and holidays to get away from their lives. My reality is that I’m traveling and working just like I always have, with my family by my side (we’re in Bali for 3 months working + traveling with our daughters). There’s a blurred line in between work and play because they feel the same, which has created a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment for me personally. And it’s opened up so much opportunity for us as a family.
And my STUNNING doTERRA tribe, The Happy Collective. The women (and a few dudes) who are in my tribe motivate me every single day. They are my biggest teachers and constant source of inspiration. I continue to share and to model what’s possible for them when they step into their full potential and that success is possible in the way THEY feel called to do this business.
Many individuals don’t understand how to structure in order to be successful. What tips would you give a new Wellness Advocate on structuring successfully? Utilise ghost legs when you first begin (ask your mentor if you have no idea what that means). Make Elite your first goal but structure immediately for Premier (two legs). Find your Diamond+ upline who’s walked the path that you want to follow and has probably made all the mistakes already. Listen closely and apply their wisdom if they are already where you want to be.
How do you motivate your team to build successfully? Motivation is something that I believe is short lived (motivation to go to the gym, for example). What truly links people to this business and inspires them into action is their own person purpose + vision. Make it an important part of your role as a leader to create opportunities for your team to tap into their BEST LIFE vision and give them tools (goal setting, action planning, strategy specific to doTERRA business) to be able to move constantly closer to that vision.
How have events helped you be successful in reaching Diamond and Blue Diamond? I have built primarily in the online space (instagram + facebook, specifically) so I haven’t used in person events as a tool. However I have attended every single International and local (Australian) Convention + Leadership Retreat since I enrolled. Attending the events, soaking up the culture, connecting with my tribe and also just purely making the decision to be there (a declaration that I was ALL IN) has been pivotal to my journey to Blue Diamond.
What is the best way to communicate with your team? My favourite method of communication is facebook groups. I’ve used facebook groups for my oils education and for my biz tribe right from the beginning. It took about 6 months of me constantly posting (daily) and refining how to actually engage in conversation (I realised there’s a big difference between just broadcasting information vs truly creating a thriving community where the conversation flows between many people). If you stick with it and create a community this way, it can be incredible.
What do you feel is unique about your personal business? Home for us is Burleigh Heads (Australia) but we’re currently living out our dream of traveling and working abroad for 6 months. We’re currently in Bali for 3 months, then California for Leadership Retreat and after that we’re road-tripping up to Canada for another 3 months. This lifestyle has not only been possible because of my doTERRA business, but also because of the way I chose to build online, create training programs and facebook groups (education + biz) and connect with my team remotely. Our tribe has created an incredible connection and support system with the flexibility to work whenever and wherever.
What do you feel is unique about your team? The women on my team are doing incredible things every day; they’re supporting their families by using the most incredible, natural, high-vibing oils on the planet; they’re saving for their futures; they’re educating and empowering their friends and family; and perhaps, most importantly, they’re experiencing something that has to be experienced to fully understand… they’re part of something bigger. They’re part of our Happy Collective Tribe. There’s an incredible level of connection in my Happy Collective Tribe and our positive and supportive culture is something that I truly feel has to be FELT to be understood.
What is a personality trait(s) that defines you? Positivity.
Has it helped you grow your business? Yes, absolutely. Everyone will experience failure in this business, be told no, be rejected, will have months when you or your leaders don’t achieve your goals. Leading with positivity has given me the gift of resilience to continue to move forward and be able to clearly see the the possibility and future lesson in everything.
What made you decide to work towards Diamond and Blue Diamond? Diamond was always my goal from Day 1. I could see that Diamond would be such an incredible leap forward for us in our financial situation. And I knew that when were free of money struggles and the heaviness of debt, money would also allow us to truly show up in the world.
What were the key steps you took to achieve Diamond and Blue Diamond?
I wrote down Diamond (and my goal date) and stuck it up on my fridge. It stayed there for 2 years and I reached my goal.
Shared the oils
Shared the business
Worked with my leaders who wanted to WORK + GROW
Read a new leadership, personal development or business book every 2-4 weeks
Absorbed all the info I could through podcasts and audio books on how to shift my relationship with money
Rested in the times when I needed to rest
Hustled (gracefully) when it was time to go and grow.
Showed up in my business and did something every single day.
Repeat all of that for Blue Diamond. And so much more in between.
What advice would you give others who are striving to reach Diamond and above? The pathway to Diamond is actually simply and laid out for us. But it’s our own resistance to grow into our full potential that stops us. In my 2 year adventure to Diamond, I frequently felt drawn to this quote by Tara Mohr (from the book Playing Big). “When you stretch into your full potential, you will feel afraid, not ready yet, not possibly qualified enough. If you do the thing anyway, you’ll find out how ready you are”
How has your life changed because of your success in dōTERRA? In November 2017 I - with my top leaders - achieved the rank of Blue Diamond (that in itself is life-changing; earning in one single month what I used to earn for half a year of full-time work). A week later we (my husband and two daughters, 4 and 2 years old) set off on our planned family #CoconutLife adventure together. We’re currently traveling and working for 6 months (first stop Bali, hence #CoconutLife) which was a family vision we dreamt up over a year ago after the 2016 global doTERRA Convention. My husband is currently taking 6 months off work, I’m working as we travel (because this business lights me up so much that I want to continue to share the oils + the business no matter where we are in the world) and we have created the opportunity to experience all of this together, as a family. Our girls are seeing the world through their beautiful wide open eyes, my husband surfs daily, we give back to charities that we feel will make the most positive impact in social causes we care deeply about, I continue daily to adore the growth of my personal leadership, read books, create programs for my tribe and witness the beautiful growth journey my leaders are on too. Yes. This business has changed our lives in so many ways. And because our life has changed, we’re able to change the lives of others now too. I am (big inhale, big exhale) deeply deeply grateful.