More of my story.
When I was very young and I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was certain I wanted to be a marine biologist, mostly because I wanted to 'play' with Shamu and work at SeaWorld (like most of the other little girls I knew).  I always loved animals and nature, and preferred playing outside, building forts, to dressing up Barbie dolls, (although I did a lot of that too).  
When I was older, and I dropped that fantasy, I decided that being an ophthalmologist would be awesome - but, that was never going to pan out for me because I chose not to study physics at G.C.S.E. level (in the U.K. kids start specializing by selecting and narrowing down subjects from the age of 14). 
This left me trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a career - I knew I still loved biology, but I also knew I needed to narrow it down a bit.  So, I picked microbiology and got my BSc (hons) degree from the University of Bristol.. I was then chosen as a graduate recruit by what was then Zeneca Pharmaceuticals (now AstraZeneca). 
I worked as an Environmental Control Officer of a sterile manufacturing facility making one of the world's leading anti-cancer drugs, Zoladex.  How ironic is it that this drug is for prostrate cancer?  I absolutely loved that job!! It was always so interesting - our office was in a room surrounded by sophisticated monitoring devices - we monitored the temperature, the humidity, air pressure, air flow, and of course, the clean room practices of the employees.  
Our greatest challenges occurred when one of the machines would break down and the engineers approached us with a filthy looking tool to tell us that this was needed in the sterile area... a massive problem for a microbiologist to ensure that the sterility of the facility was not compromised.  Also a headache when assessing which, if any, batches of drug were affected.  This might sound like a nightmare to some, but I loved the challenge, and I loved it that my colleague ended up being one of my very best friends. 
When I was 23, however, I decided that I needed to be absolutely sure that working in pharmaceutical manufacturing and living in Macclesfield, Cheshire was the right career path for me.  I resigned, and never once looked back, as I ended up embarking on some of the most incredible adventures that many could only dream of.  

First stop was one of the most remote, populated islands in the Falklands archipelago - New Island.  The first season I went the generator only ran for a few short hours a day - there was no refrigerator, only a corner room that was kept closed and darkened. 

I went as a volunteer and was pretty much a true Girl Friday; I learnt to drive tractors, I did roofing and cladding, I helped fix generators and waterlines, I dismantled old fencing, I baked bread from scratch in an old aga stove (this was contingent on the wind's direction), I assisted scientists with their research (I counted a lot of penguins) and helped National Geographic film crews, I even got to meet Prince Charles... it was amazing!!

So much fun, in fact - that I went back for 3 consecutive austral summers, spending the rest of my time temping at Citibank in London. The largest population on New Island, which was 12 of us, was during Xmas 2000, often there were only 5 or 6 of us on the 8 mile long, ruggedly beautiful island.  I loved the simplicity of living on an island with limited electricity and internet; I loved picking my own mussels for dinner, being so isolated made it all the more special when a plane could actually make a landing (often our supplies could not be delivered if the pilot deemed the wind condition to be too dicey).   
It was on New Island that I was introduced to expedition cruising (and my husband) - and what was to become my next amazing adventure...

 For 6 years I worked as a naturalist and zodiac driver on the world famous little red ship - the M/S Explorer.  We traveled all over the globe; mostly the polar regions, but also up and down the Amazon River, through the Panama Canal, around the British Isles, we circumnavigated Iceland, searched for polar bears in Svalbard, and visited many of the most remote and inaccessible islands in the Atlantic Ocean.  

Working on the ship was not going to be a full-time, forever job - so, once again it was time to start thinking about what would happen next.  I was fast approaching 30 and I always knew I wanted kids - 2, to be precise.  And THAT was a job I KNEW I always wanted.  On the day that my then boyfriend proposed, I told him in no uncertain terms that if we were lucky enough to have children, that I would want to take care of them myself - I wanted to be a stay-at-home, work-from-home Mum.
We did end up having kids; Jack was born in December of 2007 and despite desperately wanting to look after him myself, our finances would not allow it.  It was so incredibly hard for me to go back to work (even though I was so lucky to have been able to go back to a part-time schedule), so when he turned 3 months old, I started entrusting his care to other people.  It was like I was dropping off a piece of my heart at day care every morning.  I just wanted to be with my baby!  

22 months later, Henry was born – and then the maths became easier.   I was going to be going to work just to pay for childcare.  Was a health plan worth leaving both my boys with other people? Nope! It was incredibly hard to reduce our finances further just so that I could stay at home, but we made it work.  I started looking for ways that I could make money from home, without having to leave the boys with someone else.  I decided to start my own business...
Since then, I have started 3 businesses and I loved each of them passionately.  My first business was teaching infant sign language, something that I was doing with both the boys anyway.  I think I loved setting up my business almost as much as running it!! I truly enjoyed learning about how to use social media, how to find venues, write newsletters, make alterations to the website, find customers, create marketing materials, and write lesson plans,  I spent time crafting and creating a studio in the basement of our house – and I met a bunch of wonderful babies and their parents.
Fast forward a few years and my kids were older and beginning their LEGO® obsession.  It was time for another change.  I had been looking into franchises since the year Jack was born – and in 2013 I found the perfect one! And, the perfect person to do the business with! 

My friend and I bought a Bricks 4 Kidz franchise and we enjoyed massive success. We taught after-school S.T.E.M. classes using LEGO® bricks at many of the Charlottesville area schools and we ran summer camps in conjunction with a local college and a prominent wellness company.  It was a very, very busy few years!

Despite loving the job, me more than her, the growth and demand of our programme actually made it too expensive and logistically challenging to run.   Both of us had young kids and we began to feel like we were spending more time on the business than with the little people that we were essentially doing this for.  It was a heartbreaking decision, but we decided to sell the franchise.   
Once again, here I was – desperate to stay at home and be available for my kids and no real plan!  It was only a few months after selling B4K that we got the terrible cancer diagnosis.   Now it was time to panic! How on earth was I going to be able to contribute to the finances, to be available to go with my husband to his treatments, and to be home for the boys when they got back from school?  
I knew that there was no ‘real’ job out there that would facilitate all this.  Everyone kept telling me I should be a teacher because I am so good with kids – but how? Going back to school to get a teaching degree would take too long, and cost too much; working at a pre-school would never pay enough, and even if I were to get a teaching license that doesn’t mean that I could be home for my kids after school.  
 An office job? Also not likely to pay enough for what I was going to need in the future, and I would have to pay childcare, I wouldn’t have the flexibility to accompany him to the hospital, nor would I be home for the boys, and never would I have enough vacation days to go back to England to see my family.  AND – not forgetting that my dream was to be a stay at home Mum!!  This was becoming a true nightmare! 

Then, one day I learnt about Young Living.  I was already sold on essential oils, I had been using them for over 15 years; but I had no idea that you could have a Young Living business and make both passive and residual income and also leave a legacy for your kids!!  The more I learnt about Network Marketing, the more hopeful I began to feel about my future.  I wrote a blog post specifically talking about Young Living as an income opportunity.  
Young Living has a lot going for it as a company; first of all, it doesn't just produce oils.  They manufacture supplements, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, personal care products, make-up, cereal, chocolate, Ningxia Red, and also CBD.  The majority of these are consumables, which means that people need to reorder - this is a life-style company.  And healthier living is becoming a much more attractive market now that we are seeing so many chronic diseases; people are beginning to pay more attention to what they are putting in and on their bodies and we know that Young Living produces plant-based, toxin-free alternatives to many of the things we find ourselves buying from Target!  

My future went from pretty worrying to pretty exciting because I love my work!! 


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